“Asia’s New Global City”
Sri Lanka’s Vision for 2030: Expectations and OpportunitiesMay 30th, 2016
The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is situated in a strategic position on South West route of the Indian Ocean. During the 11th annual Asia Pacific Week in Berlin, His Excellency the Ambassador presented his nations vision for the future as ‘Asia’s new global city.’ Amb. Karunatilaka Amunugama showcased the Sri Lankan government’s 10 point plan to transform the country into an economic centre and a transportation hub, to both the audience and to the entrepreneurs present at the event.
Asia Pacific Week is the biggest platform for dialogue amongst German and Asian countries. The event which comes under the slogan of ‘Asia-Europe Innovation Dialogue’, is dedicated to IT and Technology, with a large emphasis on start-up ecosystems and networking opportunities for actors from businesses, science, politics and the economy. During the Embassy Day, the participants used the opportunity to gain a bigger insight into the business and investment system of South Korea, Myanmar, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam or Pakistan. The day also included opportunities for participants to ask questions to prominent individuals like His Excellency the Ambassador of Sri Lanka or the Ambassador of Pakistan.
The island country of Sri Lanka has been one of the fastest growing economies of the world since the end of their civil war. Currently its economy is transitioning from a factor driven stage to an efficiency driven position. As the ambassador highlighted, Sri Lanka’s advantageous geographical position in the South-West route in the Indian Ocean and its deep harbours allow it to continue to evolve and grow as an economic and transportation centre. There are a number of key factors which demonstrate how the country is already on its way to becoming an emerging market, the share of the service sector is more than 60% of the GDP and the per capita income has doubled since 2005 according to the GINI coefficient. Poverty and income inequality has also decreased and life expectancy in Sri Lanka 10% higher than the world average.
Sri Lanka’s ambitious plan of creating ‘Asia’s new global city’ refers to Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and the largest city on the west coast of Sri Lanka, Colombo. Its strategic position and large harbor in the sea trade route make this city the core of the country’s economy and confirm the government’s proposal to transform Colombo into a metropolis of international standards. The city has already contributed 50% of the GDP and 80% of industrial values. The ambassador’s presentation included plans regarding the infrastructural investments, including highways, administrative centres, a free trade zone around Colombo, free education and healthcare launched by the leaders of the country.
News from Berlin
Bettina Kovacs, Berlin Global