I was invited to speak on “Political Changes in Asia: Are We Better or Worse Off?” at the Asia Liberty Forum in Kuala Lumpur. Since Asia is a pretty big place and people understand principles better when presented in terms of concrete examples, I decided to focus, first on Sri Lanka, and then on trade policy debates. The presentation is here.
The key point I wanted to get across was that informed citizens and policy intellectuals have a responsibility to engage in policy reform; it is not enough to sit back and expect the political leadership to drive the reforms alone. It is sad that most economists and think tanks are sitting out what is one of the most important policy debates of our time in Sri Lanka.