While the late 1970s were characterized by trade liberalization, Sri Lanka has since increased trade protection, using trade policy as a tool to promote import substitution and local industry. Today, the effective rate of protection is at a similar level as it was in the 1980s, and includes a complex and unpredictable web of paratariffs.
Is protecting local businesses from foreign competition the way forward for Sri Lanka? Or should the country embrace globalization and free trade? In this lecture Professor Robert Lawrence from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government explores the topic.