By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Notwithstanding the major economic dividends since opening the economy such as the sharp increase of the GDP, rapid economic progress, increased volume of exports, increased employment opportunities and drop of poverty, Sri Lanka has also confronted many challenges, like the huge income gap between the top and lowest rung of the people, increased burden of credit, drop of state revenue and environment pollution as a result of the open economy, Technology and Research Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
"We as a nation have set for ourselves some challenging economic growth targets."
Making a presentation on achieving a knowledge economy through investment in Research and Development (R&D) at the BMICH under the theme ‘The National R&D Investment Framework 2015-2020,’ Minister Ranawaka stressed that quite naturally economic analysts use GDP as the yardstick in setting economic growth targets in a country as well as in measuring their performance. Obviously, the definitions as well as the measurements that they use in economics would perhaps seem far too subjective, and lacking in precision, to the liking of the scientific community.
Economic development almost always occupies the central premise of development debate, so much so that it often goes to the extent of supplanting the debate on overall human development, despite the fact that the latter necessarily encompasses many other equally-important dimensions such as Environmental Sustainability and Social Equity.
“We as a nation have set for ourselves some challenging economic growth targets. We believe, we will soon become an upper-middle-income nation, and wish to become a high-income, or a developed, economy by 2040. Our per capita GDP target is US$ 7,000+ by 2020, and US$ 12,000 by 2040,” Minister Ranawaka pointed out.