Keynote at MBA alumni conference

Posted on May 18, 2016  /  0 Comments

Yesterday I gave the keynote address at the University of Colombo MBA Alumni Association conference. I covered global value chains, need for trade agreements and the problem of state-owned enterprises. The slides are here.

Here is some of the media coverage.

“I believe that Samurdhi is an important infrastructure. I think that a country that does not look after its poor is not worth living in. In 2014 Sri Lanka spent double what it spent on Samurdhi just to cover the operational losses of SriLankan Airlines. What kind of priorities does our country have?”

Opening up loss making SOEs to private investment is just one step suggested by Prof. Samarajiva. Acknowledging that privatisation was fraught with political difficulties he also backed Government plans to establish a holding company for SOEs along the Temasek model as a “second best” solution but insisted it would have to come with stronger transparency and accountability mechanisms. Prof. Samarajiva called for a process where even the board of directors of the holding company can be held responsible for their performance and gave examples of how Singapore lists its State entities in the stock market to maximise company valuations and sustain growth.

– See more at:

Comments are closed.