Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Economic Forum 2016 – Why the secrecy?

It is less than 24 hours to a very important Economic debate on how this Country should develop in the next 25 years, and NO Economist worth his brain in Sri Lanka will be present.

There is NO mention of this even in any newspaper today, and for such a historic moment in Sri Lanka, which has never seen such a gathering of world renowned economists that the PM has persuaded to come, it is a damn shame that the organization has been given over to amateurs. 

The organizers don’t even have a list of the great economic thinkers of our time, who have something to contribute to the debate. (not the geriatrics, who will not be able to keep their eyes open let alone hear due to the defects of their hearing aids.)

With Josef Stieglitz, Ricardo Haufman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and a stellar cast of experts, matched with a few notables who are NOT in the policy making sphere like Razeen Sally, Nishan de Mel and WA Wijewardena the audience seem to be just a bunch of 8th grader politicians!

Frankly the whole seminar and the topics that are being covered are completely over the heads of the attendees, who are most likely to fall asleep during the discussions, when all those who could benefit from this and give their input to the economic debate are completely left out.

If I am not mistaken the PM is putting a three line whip on attendance of the Ministers, but unlike the PM, the ministers are simply incapable of understanding even 1% of the topic these top economists are about to expound upon.

Macroeconomics and Fiscal Stability – being lectured to people who are anything but!

Structural Transformation and Competitiveness – To those incapable of seeing the PMs vision will certainly not buy into the World Renowned Economists exhortations.

Urbanization and Development to those who have not been able to turn up to the Cinnamon Grand in time, due to the predictable, but totally messed up chokehold on traffic, due to lack of ability to forecast and action.

Regional Development and Social Inclusion to those who don’t know what they are talking about.
This is invitation only, at least if they charged Rs25K per head, and gave sufficient notice, the best of the best would have paid and come! WASTE!     

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