Thematic

Showing 10 Publication(s)
The Hidden Side of Cigarette Pricing

Analysis of past tax and price data reveals two aspects of cigarette pricing that are hidden from media reporting: first, net-of-tax price grew at a faster rate than the tax per cigarette; second, that the government’s tax share of the cigarette price has fallen over time.

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Sri Lanka-China FTA: Challenges and Opportunities

Sri Lanka and China decided to enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in August 2013 to further expand trade between the two countries. Technical negotiations, which officially commenced in September 2014, are still underway with five rounds of negotiations having been concluded. China is the world’s second largest economy, its largest exporter and its second largest importer. For a small market economy like Sri Lanka, an agreement with a country such as China presents exciting opportunities as well as daunting challenges. This briefing note provides an assessment of the challenges and opportunities that Sri Lanka is likely to face in operating under an FTA with China. Potential challenges and opportunities have been identified by analysing the key features of China’s existing FTAs with other countries.

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The new Ministers of Finance: Will their budget keep its promises?

Analysis of past budgets reveal large deviations between budgeted allocations and actual expenditure. This shows that expectations set by the government during the budget speech are not honoured. This Insight analyses budgeting on social services and the rural economy to demonstrate the extent of deviations in promised allocations and actual expenditure. Results suggest that when precise expenditure is not tangible, it is easier to renege on budget promises.

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The Sri Lankan economy needs a better bureaucracy, not just a better Cabinet of Ministers

There are several causes to the problems facing Sri Lanka’s economy. The problem of bureaucratic inefficiency exemplified by this case study: finding information about trade regulations is a significant barrier to improving the economy in agricultural products. The poor performance in the supply of even basic information indicates the larger challenge of improving the bureaucracy.

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Accepting e-documents with e-signatures: A small step for government, a giant leap for the country

Improving export performance is a national priority for Sri Lanka. However, the room for exporters to improve their export competitiveness is significantly constrained by the time it takes to process export documentation at various Sri Lankan border agencies. As such, Sri Lanka can significantly improve the competitiveness of its exporters by reducing processing times at the border. A proven method in this regard is the use of Electronic Document (e-document) processing platforms for trade. Currently in Sri Lanka, the benefit of this particular opportunity is being hobbled by the non-acceptance of electronic signatures (e-signatures) despite most of the prerequisites and systems being in place. This policy note sets out the main findings of a study conducted by Verité Research on the non-acceptance of e-signatures in Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka’s Domestic Barriers to Trade: Case Studies of Agricultural Exports

In the recent past, Sri Lanka has focused on negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as a means to revive its export sector. FTAs address external barriers that Sri Lankan exporters face in the importing country. However, trade barriers are found not only at the border of the importing country, but also at the border of the exporting country. Using agriculture products as case studies, this study identifies such domestic barriers. Findings reveal that domestic barriers to trade significantly undermine the export capacity and competitiveness of Sri Lankan exports. Hence, addressing them is important to unleash the country’s export potential.

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Facilitating The Registration Of Trademarks A Step towards Creating Internationally Recognised Sri Lankan Brands

The Madrid Protocol is a simplified global system for registering trademarks abroad. It eases trademark registration abroad for Sri Lankan businesses. Sri Lanka is looking to complete accession to the Madrid Protocol by the end of 2017 or early 2018. However, accession to the Madrid Protocol will not necessarily help address the related challenges faced by Sri Lankan business; the challenge of registering trademarks in Sri Lanka. Verité has conducted research on the challenges faced in the process of registering trademarks in Sri Lanka and how these challenges undermine the benefits of the proposed accession to the Madrid Protocol. This policy brief presents an analysis of these issues and provides recommendations to overcome the identified obstacles.

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E-Government Procurement: Enabling Business through Efficient Systems

Public procurement is a key instrument through which governments deliver important social and economic goods to citizens. Efficient and accountable public procurement enables better utilisation of public funds, and in better public goods and services. Strengthening public procurement in Sri Lanka requires enhancing its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. E-procurement offers the government major efficiency gains, cost-savings, higher value for money and better fiscal management.

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E-Government Procurement: Enabling Business through Efficient Systems January (Sinhala Edition)

Public procurement is a key instrument through which governments deliver important social and economic goods to citizens. Efficient and accountable public procurement enables better utilisation of public funds, and in better public goods and services. Strengthening public procurement in Sri Lanka requires enhancing its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. E-procurement offers the government major efficiency gains, cost-savings, higher value for money and better fiscal management.

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Economic mismanagement is a governance problem – it needs governance solutions

Elected officials and selected bureaucrats are given a huge amount of power to act on behalf of the public – modern democracies function on this basis: that citizens hand over their power to elected representatives. But how can citizens then protect themselves against those individuals misusing that power? This is the perennial problem of governance. The simple answer that is given to this question of governance, is “elections” – that elections ensure the displacement of politicians who violate the public trust, and thus create political incentives for better behaviour. This Insight provides an example, which explains why the answer cannot be that simple – the behaviour of officials during elections can both abuse public trust, as well as benefit these officials politically. As such, other governance solutions are needed.

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