The World Bank's Chief Economist for the South Asia Region, Hans Timmer, gave the keynote address at the “Sri Lanka Growth Strategy 2022” forum organized by NextGenSL and World Bank on January 31st 2022. In his address, he discussed the economic challenges faced by Sri Lanka due to COVID-19, and highlighted how the Sri Lankan economy has the opportunity to emerge stronger from this crisis by leveraging the potential of the informal sector and the new services economy.
Those working in the informal sector were especially vulnerable during the crisis because they are not well-connected to markets and social protection systems. But new digital platform technologies, such as ecommerce, can help unlock the potential of the informal sector by connecting it to markets. Sri Lanka can also build on its strengths in the new services economy to grow its exports and raise the productivity of other sectors.