Sri Lanka will need to look at emerging sectors such as logistics and nuclear energy to revitalize the bailed out economy . President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that reforms in the country would also require higher taxation .
COLOMBO (Columbian): Sri Lanka's economic woes will persist for another year, according to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, and it will need to think outside the box and look at emerging sectors such as logistics and nuclear energy to revitalize the bailed out economy.Wickremesinghe said that reforms in the country would also require higher taxation, speaking at a two-day conference on Friday titled Lets reset Sri Lanka.We will have to go through a difficult period for the next six months to a year, he said, adding that Sri Lanka will have to search at new sectors such as logistics and nuclear energy for success.Logistics is one thing I believe in the most in particular, as the Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani economies expand, logistics will have a significant place in Colombo, in Hambantota and Trincomalee.Sri Lanka is facing the most difficult economic crisis since independence in 1948.Due to the forex crisis's fuel shortage, the export industry is heavily harmed.The tourism industry, which was the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy, was also dented first by the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the economic turmoil.Wickremesinghe, who was re-elected by Parliament last month, will serve the remainder of Gotabaya Rajapaksa's term, which left the country and resigned amid widespread anti-government demonstrations. We must stick to those measures first for economic growth and second for social stability, he said, and we should also follow taxes on wealth.The president also said that the country will want to consider entering the nuclear energy industry.If you have more energy to sell to India, you can also have more renewable energy available.We have to think outside the box, he said. Nevertheless, the IMF program has hit a blockade in the form of debt restructure.However, the World Bank has refused to lend anything until a detailed macroeconomic strategy is in place.Wickremesinghe said the legal and technical experts on debt restructuring are advancing with the task, referring to the pending IMF bailout program.First, the foreign debt, and is that an inversion of the national debt being considered? It will be a period that we haven't seen before, we must look at both foreign debt and local debt, it will be a challenging time.He said that the first six months would be challenging.Over 6 million out of the country's 21 million inhabitants are undernourished, according to Wickremesinghe.According to him, more people are unemployed, and additional funds are being set aside to support them. We need to look at the societal, economic, and cultural dimensions of the reform we're going to implement.In this world, we've already seen the economic consequences of an oil shortage and inflation.It came onto the political scene as a social one, according to Wickremesinghe, referring to months-long street demonstrations that culminated in former President Rajapaksa's ouster.