Untapped Potential in our Land

Sometimes I think about how Sri Lanka is in the situation she is currently in – soaring inflation, sliding currency, ever-increasing govt. debt, etc. If one looks at it closely, Sri Lanka has so much untapped economic potential:

1. We have a thriving world class garments sector renown for quality, specialisation and high standards.

2. We have a reputation for the best quality tea in the world – pls note we are the only country who grows low-grown tea – it may not produce a significant difference in flavor but with some shrewd promotion, we can carve out a niche as we have a world monopoly on this.

3. Our Gem Industry is not supported enough by the Govt. – we need the finished products to produced in Sri Lanka.. not just producing the raw materials for it. All value added must be done within our borders.

4. Tourism? Nothing has to said further on this really. We are a small island with so much variety that can be offered it is really unbelievable – reaching a beach within 03 hrs drive from virtually anywhere on the island, we have a hill country to be explored, we have a cold climate if that is what’s preferred, we have a dry climate, we have white sand beaches which can easily compete with the beaches of the Caribbean and the Maldives. If eco-tourism is whats required, we should be able to offer it because we have the natural resources for it. If a tourist wants history and culture, we have 2,500 years of it to be shared..

If you really think about it – what does Singapore actually have to attract so many tourists? What does Dubai really have? Basically nothing except what their leaders have implemented – its a crying shame really.. read or under ‘Sri Lanka’ for more info on our potential in tourism..

5. Our little island is strategically placed in the maritime arena and we are in such a crucial position as the next closest main port is Singapore to the east and Salalah, Suez or Cape Town to the west.. everything in between is within our reach! Believe it or not Colombo was the 07th busiest port in 1910.. a far cry from what it is today..

Anyone in the shipping industry will understand just what potential Sri Lanka has when it comes to our ports and port services – but sadly our leaders once again have made the difference – sadly for the worst.

6. The probability of having oil within our territorial waters? Sri Lanka will become a whole new Sri Lanka if oil is actually found – EVEN with the level of corruption and mismanagement prevalent.

Those are just a handful of opportunities of which i have identified – other areas such as IT, rubber, professional services, etc. are also prospective but im sure there are more knowledgeable people with expertise on these topics.

What has prompted Singapores rise to virtually being the beacon of Asia is their leaders, same with Dubai where most of the oil proceeds are pumped back into the economy for welfare, infrastructure, investment ,etc. (btw they are currently building a subway network – can we even think of this even in the next 20 years?). It all boils down to the leaders and Sri Lanka is falling so short it is not even funny…