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Weekly Wrap - Week 01, November


How are companies coping with productivity challenges faced by their most productive workers—women? Read this week's wrap to find out.

Beyond GSP+ 

Sri Lanka slipping from the middle income country rank together with the COVID-19 impact on the economy means the GSP+ facility will be available till 2023. This is a significant development, however, for Sri Lanka, to put its exports on a sustainable footing requires reform-led policymaking. A breakthrough in Sri Lanka’s export strategy would serve as a springboard for the country to become a high income economy. Sri Lanka’s merchandise export strategy needs to be revolutionised by diversifying to the export of medium to high technology products, such as machinery and equipment, electronics, vehicles and pharmaceuticals, and value-added mineral products, from the traditional low technology products, such as garments and tea. 


WFH challenges

Working from home is at the core of the new normal induced by COVID-19, but a recent survey has suggested that if companies wish to encourage higher productivity from their employees, they have to approach work from home with a gendered perspective and tailor make policies that take into account challenges faced by their most productive workers – women.  The report, ‘Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on Employment in the Private Sector,’ by Women in Work, a partnership between IFC – a member of the World Bank Group – and the Australian Government, highlights that almost three quarters of the companies surveyed experienced a negative impact on revenue as a result of the pandemic. 


Two ways to help revive tourism in Asia and the Pacific

Tourism in Asia and the Pacific has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. International tourist arrivals fell by over 90% in many countries, compared to last year—and the situation is likely to persist, with the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization forecasting a drop of up to 80% over the whole year. An International Air Transport Association survey in June 2020 suggested that half of respondents would wait six months or more before traveling again. Clearly, recovery will take time. 


Sri Lanka should build pandemic prevention in to urban plans: IPS

Sri Lanka should build pandemic prevention and recovery initiatives in future urban planning, a Colombo-based think tank said as Coronavirus spread in low income high rises in the city and lockdowns hurt incomes.


The Election Through Warren Buffett's Eyes

Warren Buffett has always taken the stance that regardless of who is president or which party holds power, each generation of Americans will be better off than the one that came before it — even if dark moments test our ability to believe it. But that’s not to say the outcome of this election doesn’t matter. It’s pivotal for wealthy people like the 90-year-old Buffett, the future profits of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and the lives of the 392,000 workers his conglomerate employs.


Amanda Senewiratne

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