Sri Lanka's present and future fortunes intrinsically linked to ocean resources
Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka|April 21, 2021
The current and future prosperity of Sri Lanka is intrinsically linked to its coastal, marine and mineral assets or neglected ocean resources. Fisheries and tourism can be two main pillars of its gross domestic product (GDP) economy and source of employment.
TISSA JAYAWEERA

Ocean resource development-connected fisheries, nautical tourism, boat/shipbuilding, ship repairs, mineral sand mining, aquaponics/hydroponics should be considered by our ministers, planers and public officials connected to ministries as well as private sector connected to fisheries and tourism, if they are capable of thinking out of the box.

We still follow stories said by planers in 1940s when we were a developed economy compared to rest of South Asia managed by the British. All countries around us since 1948 have turned a new leaf and are passing us or have passed us. Our governments and planers are still reading the pages of the old book.

Sri Lanka’s GDP global rank was 57 in 2020, China 2, India 6, Indonesia 16, the Philippines 34, Pakistan 39, Vietnam 40 and Bangladesh 44. By 2040, India is posed to be the most populated country, overtaking China and the GDP global rank 3, China hitting position 1, Indonesia 8, Pakistan 23, Vietnam 24 and Bangladesh 28. No prediction available for Sri Lanka. Where will we be by 2040?

There are many related agencies connected to ocean resource domestic product such as the National Aquaculture Development Authority, Department of Coast Conservation, Costal Resource Management, Sri Lanka Coast Conservation Management, Marine Environment Protection Authority, Sri Lanka Fishery Harbour Corporation, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Tourism Development Authority, Merchant Shipping Secretariat, Ceynor, Mineral Sands Corporation, Department of Wildlife, Navy, Coast Guard, Sri Lanka Customs, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Trade, Export Development Board, Ministry Connected to Petroleum Resource Development (now asleep), Ministry of Agriculture, Board of Investment, private sector boat/yacht builders, yacht/leisure boat operators and ship repairers to name some.

They are administered under many ministries where the right hand does not know what the left hand is up to. Have all these departments ever met as a team or with private sector operators to discuss development of domestic product as part of the economy?

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