The global CEO os DHL shared his take on Sri Lanka in a recent interview published in the DailyFT. Very revealing, coming from someone who sees the growth trajectory, economic performance, and strengths of countries around the world. For me, these four points stood out in terms of what he thinks of Sri Lanka:
- He believes that Sri Lanka’s high literacy and English skills will help to attract more FDI
- He is impressed with the infrastructure like the airport expressway and advocates for more infrastructure investments
- He called for more opening up of the market (possibly referring to trade liberalisation) and easing up+digitalisation of border processes
- Sri Lanka’s geographic location makes it a “good gateway to India or as a stopover port to Europe or Africa”
I particularly love his comments on streamlining border processes, which is very much in line with what we, at the Chamber, have been pushing on trade facilitation reforms.
People see border processes sometimes as income streams for the government, which is wrong. It’s complex, which leads to compliance issues, which are often unnecessary. At the end of it, it all generates costs. If you do these things from a business sense, where you have a good port, good development to renew the runway successfully at the airport, that’s important.
The full interview can be read here – http://www.ft.lk/article/612896/Deutsche-Post-DHL-Group-CEO-s–things-to-do–list-for-Sri-Lanka
In reading his interview, I also got to know about an interesting index that I never knew existing – the DHL Global Connectedness Index; an annual look at global trade connections. In a sense, its also a proxy review of the state of globalisation. It has great infographics (like this one below) on the ‘most connected countries’ in terms of trade flows and also ‘globalisation hot spot cities’. If Sri Lanka is to be a serious contender as a regional Hub for business and trade, we should look at what made these countries and cities become ‘hot spots’ and align our policies and action plans accordingly.
The full 2106 report is available here.