President to introduce vital proposals for implementing ‘DIGIECON’ in upcoming Budget
Colombo (LNW): The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka has revealed that President Ranil Wickremesinghe will present proposals for the implementation of the Digi-Econ (DIGIECON) economic concept, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).
The DIGIECON initiative aims to generate a revenue of US$15 billion through digital economies by 2030, as outlined by Sachindra Samararatne, Deputy Chief Digital Economic Officer of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).
In a significant development, the Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Technology to lead the establishment of the digital economy through extensive public and private partnerships, marking a notable milestone for Sri Lanka.
Samararatne emphasised that the Minister of State for Technology, Kanaka Herath, has successfully engaged in discussions with various stakeholders, and the resulting plan has been submitted to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
These details were shared by Sachindra Samararatne during his participation in the “101 Katha” programme produced by the President’s Media Division.
“When discussing the possibilities with computers, ‘E Sri Lanka’ was deliberated. By 2015, the emphasis shifted from ‘e,’ and the digital era took centre stage, particularly with the advent of smartphones. Today, activities like buying and selling have undergone digitisation, a transformative change facilitated by the internet.
In line with the President’s guidance, Digi-Econ introduced an economic concept in 2015, aiming for success by 2030. The dynamic nature of the digital landscape necessitates continuous adaptation. The inaugural step toward constructing a digital economy, fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, has been taken. The potential for digitisation to contribute up to 20% to the existing economy’s growth is substantial, promising significant economic improvement. Numerous individuals in Sri Lanka have played a role in shaping the digital economy policy.
Implemented in partnership with the public and private sectors, as well as the World Bank, details about this initiative are available on the Ministry of Technology’s website. The digital economy has significantly empowered the new generation, becoming an integral part of everyone’s economic participation.
The sustainability of this policy is evident due to strong government support, attracting substantial investments. International investors consider a country’s level of digitisation when making investment decisions. Providing governmental backing for the advancement of the digital economy is crucial and establishing an institution for this purpose would be beneficial. The inception of Digi-Econ was inspired by the President’s vision, advocating for collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors. The President is actively working to elevate the country’s economy by synergising these sectors.
Transforming the public mindset can accelerate economic development significantly, as evidenced by the economic progress of countries like Singapore and Malaysia. Studying their economic advancements is crucial, and we should establish an institution tailored to our model.
Many nations have propelled their digital economies through budgetary allocations. To foster the export sector, investing in the digital economy is imperative. Over the past decade, our IT organisation has collaborated with the World Bank, leading to rapid growth in Sri Lanka’s information technology industry. Specific strategies are necessary and an institutional framework with budgetary support is crucial to implementing the digital economy policy. Sponsorship empowers both the government and private sectors, positioning Sri Lanka’s economy for strength and growth.
Currently, 4.3% of GDP is allocated to the digital economy. Increasing this to 20% can robustly propel the digital economy forward. The impact of digitisation on public services and individual lives is apparent. President Ranil Wickremesinghe aims to present proposals for the Digi-Econ (DIGIECON) economic concept through this year’s budget, striving for a $15 billion income for Sri Lanka from digital economies by 2030.
The Information Technology Agency has laid the groundwork for a digital country. Building upon this foundation, envisioning a fully digitised nation is plausible. Our institutions have directed efforts to the Australian market from 2011 to 2018 and now it’s essential to establish a digital economic order to surpass the existing foundation. Strengthening the legal framework is vital.
Our institution has tailored a model based on Australia’s digital transformation, providing leadership training upon its introduction to Sri Lanka. Technical support is offered and the government is poised to provide necessary assistance. This unique opportunity demands that Sri Lanka fortify its digital economy to enhance productivity at individual and organisational levels. The qualitative impact of such productivity can swiftly advance the country’s overall economic development.”