The country key drive has been the construction industry which accounts for 7pct of GDP. The housing sector also absorbs circa 23pct of the banking sector credit. The quarterly data indicates that the sector contracted by 5pct. A proxy for the industry is the core raw material, namely cement, during the period under review the total cement supply has decreased by 3.55 pct. during the first quarter of 2018. The total imports of cement and the domestic supply of cement has dropped by 3.16 pct. and 4.22 pct. respectively in the first quarter of 2018.
The overall segment of property seems to be depressed with many property developers and engineering, construction companies grappling with fiscal policy squeeze as result of the increase in corporate tax, turnover tax and other taxes (WHT, NBT) which has resulted in an effective tax rate of 67pct vs 21pct in 2014. The situation is further compounded with higher balance sheet debt and the rising cost of production due to the YTD rupee depreciation of 5.9pct
The depressed undertone in the construction industry is reflected the published Central Bank business survey together with the Greater Colombo Housing and Apartment Index. 2019 too does not seem to offer much sparkle to the sector with higher real interest rates and contraction in credit.
Sri Lanka with its unique blend of diverse culture, bio diversity and friendly people enters the global map as The Best Travel destination and retains its proud identity despite recent setback following 4/21 destruction of life and property. The Lonely Planet – the best-selling magazine featured Sri Lanka in 2019 – 10 years after a sustained upbeat in tourism nearly three decades after ending conflict in 2009.
The country that was torn by war has entertained 2.4 million tourists by the end of 2018 benefiting nearly 300,000 direct and indirect employment and livelihoods,. A large number of them being small and medium entrepreneurs engaged in supply chain activities, investments in the development of leisure facilities, transport and logistics, urban and rural property development. This sector also accounted for USD 4.2 billion in foreign exchange earnings marginally lower than the country’s single largest industrial export income of USD 5.3 billion from textile and garment exports. In 2009, this now buoyant industry accounted for a mere USD 349 million.
The Lonely Planet ranked Sri Lanka as a top country to visit in 2019, stating “Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived.” The Lonely Planet recognises new highways and railroads help connecting critical areas of the country. It has also recognized that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is developing properties around the island with more international hospitality brands.
Tourist interest in beaches are expanding to places like Tangalle, and going beyond popular places like Unawatuna and Weligama. Another attraction highlighted in the best-selling Lonely Planet Magazine is the train between Nanuoya and Ella passing through the hill country area beautified with the lavishness of tea plantation and natural environment. The ancient ruins of Anuradhapura with a wider attraction to the sacred Ruwanweliseya Stupa built in 140BC during which time Buddhism had flourished to its peak. The country’s history is enriched with leaders so devoted to empowering the island by Buddhist philosophy and culture with massive stupas and temples.
Economically the culture was supported by agriculture with amazing engineering talents to create its agricultural infrastructure with tanks and canals. The Sacred Temple of the Tooth is the holy place protecting the Tooth Relic of Load Buddha which is another attraction for visiting tourists. Both Anuradhapura and Kandy are two of the most holy places visited by many Sri Lankans as well. Showcasing the cultural extravaganzas every August the Trustees of Tooth of the Temple of the Tooth hold the Kandy Essla Perahera. Peradeniya Botanical Garden – the largest and oldest botanical garden in the country introduces the glamour to make Kandy which has been around for several 100 years as a tourist city.
The Eastern Tourism corridor spanning from Yala to Kuchchaveli through Pasikuda and Arugam bay is well known for the best waves in Sri Lanka. Surfing enthusiasts enjoy this area from April to October.
India’s economy will overtake the US by 2030. And will be the world’s youngest major economy.
In just 12 years, India will undergo a startling transformation…
By 2030, around 77% of Indians will be under the age of 44… and most of those will be under 25. The country will also have more than 1 billion internet users…
Every second, three or more Indians go online for the first time. And by 2030 India will be a middle-class Nation. Consumer spending will quadruple. Rising to nearly $5.7 trillion in 2030.
But the economy still faces major challenges. By 2022, more than half of Indian workers will need reskilling. And it still has some of the most polluted cities in the world.
India will need to ensure its fast-growing economy is inclusive.
Asian giants securely heading to overtake America
A new world economic order is in the making, with today’s emerging markets, including India, at the heart of it.
India is likely to become the world’s second-largest economy by 2030, next only to China and overtaking the US, according to Standard Charted Bank’s long-term forecast released on January 2008. The UK-based multinational bank also predicts that based on nominal GDP using purchasing power parity exchange rates, China will overtake the US by 2020.
Top 10 countries by nominal GDP in 2020.
Current emerging markets will likely make up the majority of the biggest economies by 2030.
Standard Chartered Bank had raised growth forecast for China and India from its projections in 2013. “India will likely be the main mover, with its trend growth accelerating to 7.8% by the 2020s partly due to ongoing reforms, including the introduction of a National Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Indian bankruptcy code (IBC),” says the report.
Launched in 2017, the GST attempts to simplify India’s cumbersome tax regime, while the IBC, rolled out in 2016 would strengthen the country’s bankruptcy and insolvency laws.
“Our long-term growth forecasts are underpinned by one key principle: countries’ share of world GDP should eventually coverage with their share of the world’s population, driven by the convergence of per-capita GDP between advanced and emerging economies,” the report said.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
Aging populations are likely to weight on global growth, but India, home to the world’s largest group of young people, will remain unfazed, Standard Chartered Bank notes. Half of the country’s population is under the age of 25.
The bank expects “the rising aspirations of a young population to continue to support consumerism in India’s economy.”
But a young demographic also creates a demand for massive employment. About 100 million new jobs must be created in the manufacturing and services sector by 2030, according to the report. To achieve this, it says, the government needs to close a widening skills gap, raise the participation of women in the workforce, and ease labor laws.
“India needs to train circa 10 million people annually, but currently has the capacity to train just 4.5 million,” the report says.
It also calls for reform to boost spending on infrastructure and reduce growing economic inequality in the country.
Are you optimistic for India’s future?
By : Cameron Blake
Source: Standard Chartered; Based on predicted nominal GDP