CHINA CAN HELP SRI LANKA TO BECOME A DEVELOPED NATION (PART 2)
Posted on May 28th, 2018

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

When Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, the traditional feudalistic thinking pattern or attitudes were not changed by the influences of democratic philosophy.  The experience indicated that how white people treated to aborigines in Australia and Canada and South Africa they attempted to treat similar way to Sri Lankans too.

During the Korean boom Sri Lanka had an opportunity to manage a good trade balance but when the boom ended the country faced to the most critical issues in the economy.  It had an excess production of rubber and a shortage of staple food rice.  At this moment. China embarked to Sri Lanka as a survivor of the economy through China Sri Lanka rubber rice pact, which was initiated by RG Senanayake, in spite of the opposition of JR Jayawardene within the cabinet.  Many Western countries or India did not come to help Sri Lanka during that difficult period.

Since China Sri Lanka rubber rice pact, which was a bilateral aid agreement, China extended supports to Sri Lanka in a variety of aid packages and India looked at them with a negative point of views because Indian attitudes towards neighbouring countries were based on hegemony rather than friendship and coexistence between countries.  Under the administration of current prime minister in India, the attitudes of foreign policymakers toward neighbouring countries wanted to change but it does not appear that India has radically changed its attitudes toward neighbours.

When a country is seeking economic supports from another country it needs understanding that the supports are successfully working and sustain if it contains mutual benefits to both countries.  When Sri Lanka seeks supports from China, Sri Lanka needs supporting to China in return for the benefits.  A traditional Sinhala saying was that if you drink water from a river and attempt to praise the ocean for the enjoyment gained is not the way of expressing gratitude.  The experience in Sri Lanka shows that it obtained supports from China in many instances but the country did not attempt to express the gratitude in right ways.  For example, after the civil war, Sri Lanka faced a grave international situation with human right issues and war crimes investigations.  At that time the Rajapaksa regime was given a strong support by China and Russia, if a situation to let down Sri Lanka arises, both countries promised to exercise their power, most probably veto power against the international attempts to condemnation.  However, the election campaign in 2015 was manipulated to a hidden motivation of international forces against China, but the frustrated domestic politicians got caught to international forces with knowing or without knowing of undisclosed hidden objectives of foreign forces especially NGOs are indirectly playing a role for Western policies.  The politics of domestic front to defeat the Rajapaksa regime was an unholy collision with contradictory hidden objectives and they used to criticize China against the Rajapaksa regime in the political platform.  That was the mistake that the current regime has done during the election period.

Current Sri Lanka’s economy has gone to a bad backwardness in relation to foreign assets, international trade, employment generation, inflation, interest rate, poverty and many other areas. The live television shows indicate that people were demanding the government to reduce inflation and relief for day to day difficulties. The president and the prime minister give many promises but they do not tell the truth to people.  The speeches to the public should be that the president or the prime minister cannot order to economic growth or to reduce the prices, they are an effect of the market process.  The solution to this backwardness is increasing the pace of economic growth and current Sri Lanka needs injecting the US $ 50 billion to the economy during the next ten years, however the economy of the country has no such a capacity and many political reforms, which were taken after 1980 have increased spending, which was covered by corruption in the country.  China provides about the US $ 400 billion foreign assistance to 140 countries it is obvious from current international aid statistics that Sri Lanka cannot get the US $ 50 billion cash aid from China during the next 10 years but Sri Lanka can share this requirement with China using non-cash supports opening the country to Chinese investments in private business and the government sector.  Many cash assistance needs to pay back and it would impact on the repayment capacity of the country.  The attraction of investment has a positive impact on the debt services. The policy makers of Sri Lanka need understanding how country could get supports from China without going into a debt trap.

Sri Lanka urgently needs Chinese helps from several vital areas.  Tourism development based on cultural and religious base would enhance foreign exchange earning quickly, however, there are several barriers in the area.  Tourism has identified as an effective to foreign exchange and employment generation, nevertheless, the tourism sector suffered from constraints of planning and investments because the policymakers are lacking knowledge and skills in planning sectoral policies to competitively improve the industry.  The tourist arrivals from China should be annually increased to 5 million.  The current economic trend in the region shows that this is an achievable target with many improvements in the sector with supports of China, they are direct cash injections as loans but they are cooperative investments sharing the benefits to both sides.  The current government is looking for cash injections like how Gorbachevian sought cash inject when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, it would not happen.

Sri Lanka requires tourism sector employees with the ability to speak in the Chinese language.  Educating the Chinese language to Sri Lankan tourism sector employees is an essential condition to attract tourists from China while expanding tourism infrastructure, which needs large scale hotels as well as many medium size and small hotels. The revenue of tourists is the major in selecting residence and usually people tours once in three years or four years.  Chinese tourists like the place where they visit, if they have an environment with a Chinese style speaking in Mandarin language, opportunities with light gambling services, leisure activities, good security, excellently clean services in a residential environment.  Sri Lanka has thousands of religious places related to all religions and they need to organize and develop as shrines and worshiping places to domestic and tourists. Many religious administrators have no clear understanding of the management of places in relation to the management of the environment, religious programs and finance and many matters. The most significant characteristics of Shinto Buddhism in Japan is to maintain a very clean attractive place to visitors of the shrines bring them the second time.  It needs training of religious administrators.  The best example for this is Japan how they use shrines as an attractive place to tourists.  Although these activities are costly, they will generate a massive volume of employment to the country. The other essential requirement is the abolition or reducing to the charges for a tourist visa to US$10 for 30 days period because Sri Lanka needs to maintain the sustainability of the industry rather than exploiting tourists. As a result of radical changes in the tourism industry, the country can increase tourist arrivals from China to five million annually during next ten years.

With these supports Sri Lanka needs improving the security of tourists.  There were many reports that tourists were subject to harmful actions of local thieves and the government responsibility is to provide security to tourists like in other countries. Many times, it has recorded that political henchmen involved in harming to tourists.

Without cash injecting to the economy of Sri Lanka China can encourage their business community to invest in Joint ventures in Sri Lanka.  The concept of joint ventures directly helps Sri Lankans to learn business management and the application of technology.  The process should not be limited to a specific area of the country.  There are potential to develop joint ventures for agriculture, industry, construction, and services and the investment ratio in a joint venture should not be limited to or specified to a ratio identified by the government, in fact, Chinese investor can offer shares of the business to Sri Lankan and convert business project to joint ventures.  This type of investment would not affect the debt level of the country and the government role is to protect such ventures and liberalize to control in relation to the repatriation of earned profits.

The current government in Sri Lanka did a serious damage to the port and industrial park development initiated by China during the Rajapaksa regime. It is quite clear that Sri Lanka did not gain any advantage through impediments enforced after the election to the office in 2015. Whichever the political party in Sri Lanka needs understanding that short-term political rhetoric should not mix with long-term economic development policies.

China has effectively and massively engaged in economic development in the Asian region without involving in political or ideological differences.  Chinese investments in Korea, Taiwan Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines positively impacted on economic development and similar way Sri Lanka must allow Chinese investors to engage in economic activities.  In this way, Sri Lanka should allow Chinese banks to open branches in Sri Lanka because the baking system in the country has no sufficient capital to finance for foreign investors.  A massive volume of lending capacity of trading banks in Sri Lanka stuck with non- performing credits to government and private sectors, the saving capacity of Sri Lanka is not sufficed to maintain required capital adequacy to make massive quantum of investment finance.  The basic incentive to attract Chinese private investments is allowing Chinese banks to open branches in Sri Lanka.

When the market economic system began in 1978, Sri Lanka’s government allowed foreign banks to open branches, in spite of the opposition directed by domestic banks for paying interest on current balances, liberalized credit conditions of foreign banks, many American and European bank branches were opened but they left the country after July riots in 1983.  Now Sri Lanka’s war is over and there is a good environment for investments in domestic front despite Indian and Western opposition to Chinese investments.

Do Chinese investments limit to industrial activities?  This is a critical question because of political opinion concerns that investments in agriculture and plantation industry should be in the hands of Sri Lankans, however, agriculture especially the production of rice and agriculture-based industries such as sugar production and many others desperately need modernization with new technology, product invention and cost minimization with improved product qualities. Agriculture and plantation industry alone could be double the production and product quality if the right innovations and qualities applied, therefore, Sri Lanka could massively improve agriculture and plantation sectors with Chinese investments and need opening these two sectors to Chinese investment as joint ventures.

One Response to “CHINA CAN HELP SRI LANKA TO BECOME A DEVELOPED NATION (PART 2)”

  1. Christie Says:

    The first para is funny. No Indian Colonial Parasites were allowed to enter Australia and Canada.

    South Afrina had massive influx of Indian Colonial Parasites including the world’s most celebrated Indian Colonial Parasite Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma Gandhi).

    President Zuma was kicked out by Indian Parasites one of them Gupta.

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