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Promoting exports v restricting imports

import-exportAhilan Kadiragamar is an articulate spokesperson of the Collective for Economic Democratisation in Sri Lanka. Therefore, I looked forward to an exchange of views on the proposed economic and technological cooperation agreement (ETCA) with India, organized by the Church and Nation Committee of the Sri Lanka Methodist Church.

The slides that I used are here.

It was a little disappointing to hear that the alternative policies being advocated by these well-meaning people boiled down to import controls and juche. The problem was encapsulated by a question from the audience: In which countries are these import control policies being implemented?

I do not recall a clear answer. I muttered North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. But more importantly, I pointed out that we in Sri Lanka have concrete experience with life in a closed economy and the suffering and corruption that it yielded.

Image source.


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