Thematic

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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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අපනයන ප්‍රවර්ධනය සඳහා අපනයන මූල්‍යකරණ පහසුකම්වල්‍ කාර්යභාර්ය සහ අදාළත්වය

මෙෙ අධයයනය සිදු කරන ලද්මද් මවරිමේ පර්මේෂණ (Verité Research) ආයතනමේ ආර්ික පර්මේෂණ කණඩායෙ විසිනි. සුභාෂිණි අමේසිිංහ (ආර්ික පර්මේෂණ ප්‍රධානි), නිලිංගිකා ප්‍රනාන්දදු, මර්වතී ඥාණසම්බන්දදන්ද සහ සීzනා හුමසේන්දමෙන්ද සැදුම්ලත් ලත් සාොජිකයින්ද පිරිසක් මෙෙ කණ්ඩායෙට ඇතුළත් විය. මෙෙ වාර්තාව සකසේ කිරීමම්දී පර්මේෂණ කටයුතු සඳහා සහාය ලබාමදමින්ද සෙසේත පර්මේෂණ සහ කර්තෘ අධීක්ෂණ කටයුතු සිදු කරන ලැබුමේ නිශාන්ද ද මෙල් විසිනි. ජාතික අපනයනකරුවන්දමේ ෙණ්ඩලමේ (NCE) සහාය ඇතිව මවරිමේ අයතනය ෙඟින්ද මෙෙ පර්මේෂණ වාර්තාව සකසේ කරනු ලැබිණ. සාර්ථක ෙඟ මපන්දීම් තුළින්දද සම්ුඛ පරීක්ෂණ සඳහා පහසුකම් සපයමින්දද සාකච්ඡා අිංෙ සඳහා සහභාගී මවමින්දද මෙෙ පර්මේෂණ කාර්යය ඉටු කර ෙැනීමෙහිලා දැක්ූ සහමයෝෙය සම්බන්දධමයන්ද ජාතික අපනයනකරුවන්දමේ ෙණ්ඩලය මවත මවරිමේ පර්මේෂණ ආයතනමේ ආර්ික පර්මේෂණ කණ්ඩායෙ සිය සේූතිය පුදකර සිටි.

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Exchange rate management: politics trumps professionalism

Most people in a country don’t understand the intricacies of exchange rate management. Nevertheless, actions in this regard have significant implications for the economic stability, growth and overall success of the economy, on which human development is fostered. This Insight explains how a professional approach to the management of the exchange rate seems to have been trumped by political considerations for much of 2015. The losses suffered by a lack of professionalism are not too different to the losses suffered due to corruption, and the lack of professionalism and corruption tend to be parasitic on each other. Therefore, this Insight also points to an important focus that has not yet been adopted by the agenda for good-governance.

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Improving Trade with India: Mutual Recognition in Conformity Assessment

“In the context of growing bilateral relations with India, this study by Verité Research takes a look at the current status of Sri Lankan exports to India under the existing India – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA). The study identifies Non-Tariff Barriers to be a critical factor in the lackluster performance of exports to India in recent years. The case of food exports serves to highlight how compliance with Indian standards and regulations forms one such significant barrier, due to India’s non-recognition of testing and certification conducted outside its borders. The proposed solution to this problem – a Mutual Recognition Agreement – is one that is easily implementablewhich will help exporters enjoy the full benefits of duty concessions offered by the ISFTA and if done right, will help build confidence in the benefits of further integration.”

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