Revitalizing Lagging Exports: Is There an Option to Economic Openness?
It was reported in the media recently that there were concerns regarding the signing of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on the basis that such moves might endanger the import substitution industries, which produce internationally uncompetitive goods for the domestic consumers. This brings to our memory the 1960s and 70s policy prescriptions of infant and import substitution industries. These protectionist policy maneuvers brought disastrous consequences to the countries that blindly followed them, including Sri Lanka. Therefore, it may be opportune for us to refresh our memories regarding our past.