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    Minister calls for export of educational services

    January 18, 2020

    Cabinet spokesman and Higher Education Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardana called for Sri Lanka to look to create hubs like Biyagama for the export of services.Dr.Gunawardana was speaking at the launch of a commemorative stamp for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants on January 17. He said he would put in place policies to make Sri Lanka a regional education hub for South Asia. Sri Lankan born chairman of CIMA Amal Ratnayake was also present.

    Dr.Gunawardana said that when Sri Lankans think of exports they tend to only think of the exports of goods. He felt that Sri Lanka could emulate the Malaysian model and begin to export educational services to students from the broader South Asian region. He noted that there were a considerable number of Maldivian students in the country. He called for a human resource based export zone.

    He noted that CIMA was present in Sri Lanka even before Independence. He described this period as being one wherein only the English media existed. He noted that after Independence Sinhalese and Tamil came into more widespread usage.Dr.Gunawardana regretted the civil conflict. He said that it had a negative impact on development. He noted that members of his government were instrumental in ending the war.He alleged that development came to a halt following the election of the previous government.He said that the construction of roads, port infrastructure, and land reclamation were all stopped. He said Sri Lanka was far from its production possibility frontier during the tenure of the previous government.

    He said that entrepreneurs were treated as if they were rogues. He said that entrepreneurs had been dragged to the FCID and asked to explain their wealth.He said that all this resulted in the low growth rates experienced in the recent past. He hoped to rebuild confidence to bring in foreign investment. He said that now that the previous government has fallen he would bring institutions of the stature of CIMA into the country. He said that Port City would be suitable for the location of educational services and he would help create the enabling legislation.


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