Ocean economy to contribute over 10% to GDP
Overall contribution of the ocean economy to Sri Lanka’s GDP is likely well over 10 % and blue finance can be an important source of funding, especially to bring in private sector funds, Peter J Morgan, Senior Consulting Economist and Advisor to the Dean at Asia Development Bank Institute said.
Highlighting the need to develop finance institutions focusing on this area, Morgan stated that improving governance and reforming institutions too are crucial steps in this regard. Speaking at a virtual event on ‘Blue Economy and Blue Finance –Opportunities For Related Industries in Sri Lanka’, organised by the Centre for Banking Studies Morgan said the blue economy has become increasingly important for countries to generate new growth sources while maintaining environmental stability.
The blue ocean economy comprises the set of environmentally and socially sustainable commercial activities, products, services and investments dependent on and impacting coastal and marine resources.
The market value of coastal and maritime resources and related industries is an estimated $ 24 trillion, and the annual value of goods and services is estimated to be at least $ 2.5 trillion, nearly 2.5 % of global gross domestic product.
“But they are under numerous threats. Fisheries and aquaculture sector requires cross ministerial cooperation and institutional reforms to increase funding or attract private funding.” Speaking on coastal and maritime tourism he emphasized the need to promote eco tourism, whilst providing tax incentives to tour operators, facilitators. It is important to develop professional tour guides and other manpower whilst taking measures to promote reduce, reuse and recycle practices and annual closure of tourism sites for rehabilitation and natural rejuvenation,” Morgan said.