Can Sri Lanka be a new Singapore?

Updated - September 22, 2016 10:44 pm IST

Published - January 08, 2016 12:29 am IST - COLOMBO:

Can Sri Lanka be the new Singapore? This was the question raised at the inauguration of the two-day Sri Lanka Economic Forum here on Thursday.

Calling this analogy interesting, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recalled how Singapore was much poorer at the time of its independence, talking about certain advantages that Sri Lanka now possesses in the form of a well-educated and healthy population.

Referring to the economic growth rates of countries in Asia such as India and China, he said that these were “enviable”, adding that the situation was quite different from the stagnation in Europe and recession in Brazil, Russia and other oil producing countries.

On the lessons to be learnt from Singapore in terms of economic development, Prof. Stiglitz said it was an example of a “development state,” where the government played a “very major” role in steering the economy. He said if a country achieved more egalitarian growth, it would lead to its better economic performance, resulting in less social strife.

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