DrTelli C Rajaratnam with Jonathan Alles and 57 others.
February 4 at 11:39am · Colombo ·
Changing Forces of Urban Economic Development: Globalization and City Competitiveness
“Colombo City will be the best Urban Centre in the Indian Ocean”- PM Ranil Wickremasinghe
By Dr.Telli C Rajaratnam
Vision of PM Ranil Wickremasinghe
Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe made a timely statement a few days ago as reported in the first page of the Daily News on 27th of January 2017. It is the Prime Minister’s contention that Colombo city will become the best urban centre in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister said “A global trend -oriented development will assure better living conditions for people in Sri Lanka,”. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was speaking at the inauguration of the Logistic City in Muthurajawela, which is a project included in megapolis development. He said taking Sri Lanka’s geographical location into consideration, it can be turned into the focal economic zone in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister said “ We have a plan for this great transformation. Minister of Megapolis has taken this responsibility into his hands, When India was an economic and global giant in ancient times, Sri Lanka was the economic center in the Indian Ocean, To one end we have Dubai and to the other end we have Singapore”’.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also pointed out for large scale development projects, foreign investments are a must. He said the unity government led by President Maithripala Sirisena is on a journey towards a country that would not change its policies with political changes.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake recently declared the temporary resident visa system for foreigners who invest a minimum of US$300,000 in Sri Lanka. This decision is in line with the budget proposal to grant resident visas to foreigners who bring in large amount of foreign exchange into the country. The Finance Minister has removed the freehold right restrictions from the ground floor. Hence Foreign Investors could purchase fourth floor and above. Allowing foreigners to purchase condominiums upto 40% of the cost from a domestic bank is also another positive step to attract foreign investment.’
Economic & Community Development
Economic development in Sri Lanka will be driven increasingly by forces of global economic interaction. Where the export sector is thriving, international trade and investment are creating more and better paying jobs. Sri Lanka will have to adjust quickly to these and other international forces. To grow and prosper, metropolitan areas must improve their education systems to produce a highly skilled and flexible work force, improve the quality of living conditions to attract international investment, provide services and infrastructure to support globally competitive firms, and develop stronger entrepreneurial and technological capacity among small and medium-size companies. Civic leadership and community action are essential to expanding and modernizing urban infrastructure, strengthening mechanisms of community cooperation within metropolitan areas, and fostering public-private partnerships to expand opportunities for employment. Demands for integrating the inner-city poor into economic activities will require innovative policies that build on business-oriented approaches to community development.
International Trade & Investment
Increasing international trade and investment together with growing transnational communications, and expanding businesses and industries would enhance sustainable development. Every country seeking to improve or even maintain their economic position must provide the labour force, services, and infrastructure that allow locally based domestic and foreign-owned firms to participate more successfully in the international marketplace. Rapidly expanding global markets will provide our cities and their residents with immense opportunities to prosper, but only to the extent that their businesses and labour forces are prepared to respond to new global challenges.
Driven in large part by global competitive forces, the primary engine of urban economic development has shifted from one based on mass-production industries and low-skill service jobs to a more sophisticated technology- and knowledge-based system of production and services. This shift has provided higher incomes to those workers and managers who have the skills and knowledge to participate effectively in the new urban economy while leaving behind those who do not. Likewise, those cities that become more globally linked and responsive to the competitive needs of businesses will attract investment and jobs while those that do not will decline. In the emerging global economy, international trade and investment will be key drivers of urban and regional growth and crucial sources of local jobs and wealth.
In the past, urban economists focused on the domestic exports but international trade and investment will play an increasingly important role in the future in urban economic revitalization, job generation, and wealth creation.
Foreign investment can generate revenues that keep the domestic market financially viable and stimulate exports. The rapid integration of the global economy will be among the most critical factors shaping the viability of urban economies in Sri Lanka during the coming decade. Investment will flow to—and exports will flow from—those countries that provide better educated and higher skilled workers, globally linked infrastructure, and flexible and responsible public and private organizations. In the future, urban development strategies across Sri Lanka must be based on a clear recognition that the international competitiveness of urban enterprises will create the wealth necessary for job expansion, capital investment, and tax revenues to support local public services. Wealth creation in Sri Lanka will occur only when both labor and management in urban enterprises add value to products and services through technological innovation and increased productivity and move them into the world market efficiently, effectively, and rapidly. Wealth creation, increased productivity and technological innovation, in turn, will enhance the capacity to support even larger numbers of international business transactions.
The international trends reshaping the economic development and affecting their capacity to support internationally competitive economic activities—on which urban economic growth, wealth creation, job generation and a better quality of life depend. Progress toward improving the economic well being of urban residents and alleviating poverty in inner cities will require the expansion of small and medium-size enterprises (entrepreneurship) as well as the continuing growth of large-scale industries. The growth of enterprises of all sizes will depend in the future on their effective participation in international trade. Preparing the urban work force and especially inner-city minorities, to attain skilled and professional jobs in businesses involved in global trade will be a key to urban economic vitality and will require new and more creative programs of human resource development and urban investment than those used in the past.Infrastructure and real estate are the two most critical sectors for any developing economy. A well-developed infrastructural set-up propels the overall development of a country. It also facilitates a steady inflow of private and foreign investments and thereby augments the capital base available for the growth of key sectors in an economy, as well as its own growth, in a sustained manner. In order to equip the nation with world-class infrastructure and real estate in a time-bound manner, considering the paucity of public funds available to stimulate their growth, it is imperative that additional channels of financing are put in place.
Foreign Development Companies Unmatched
The hybrid annuity model, which are better suiting the risk appetite of long-term investors, are proving vital to the sector’s revival. With the modification of the FDI norms, an increased number of foreign players have entered the market potentially, bringing in new technical capabilities. Real estate investment trusts and infrastructure investment trusts are investment vehicles that can be used to attract private investment in the infrastructure and real estate sectors, and also relieve the burden on formal banking institutions.
Cities are the central nervous systems of economic development and prosperity. They are history’s most successful platform for lifting families out of poverty and unlocking opportunity. Cities can also invigorate the communities, clusters and villages that feed or complement urban growth.
Urbanization is more than an economic equation. If well managed, cities and townships can deliver broad scale social dividends, better harness natural capital and improve public governance.
• Sri Lanka is in a long-term demographic sweet spot that is boosting demand for most types of real estate;
• The nation’s economic fundamentals continue to improve and are more compelling than most countries in the West and many in Asia;
• The securitization of real estate – will foster greater economic velocity, along with a more efficient and transparent market;
• Real estate is also evolving into a vehicle for stewarding mainstream community wealth;
• The Wickremasinghe Government’s nation-building programs will deliver direct growth dividends to the real estate industry; and,
• The opening-up of Sri Lanka’s capital markets will attract more international investors who will help diversify funding and financing platforms.
The overall development of the country is shaped by well developed infrastructure. Sustainable development of the country’s infrastructure complements the growth of other sectors, leading to the overall development of the country. The real estate sector is the second largest employer and contributor to economic activity in India, and accounts for the second highest inflow of foreign direct investment
Given the significance of the sector in the overall growth of the economy, this sector has recently received a great impetus from the government, both in terms of policy initiatives as well as rationalization of tax reforms. Moreover, real estate industry has witnessed a paradigm shift from traditional finance to an era of structured finance.
Entry of Foreign Companies
World Class Developments Companies from India and China are building superior Buildings and Housing Projects, Malls, Super markets, Hotels and the labour force is also highly skilled from China.
Despite the uncertainty roiling global financial markets, the real estate barons of the world are doing relatively well in 2016. Twenty-two people made the FORBES Billionaires List for the first time this year thanks to their real estate holdings, bringing the total number of the property-rich on the Forbes list to a whopping 184.
The majority of these uber-wealthy folks (we're counting those who owe at least part of their fortunes to real estate) hail from the Asia-Pacific region, which boasts a collective 99 billionaires. Of that total, 42 are from China, 25 from Hong Kong, seven from India and six from Singapore. This reveals the the local Developers cannot even come to the Border line of success in international standards. Presently several Indian and Chinese Companies are constructing mega projects.
The United States, with 44 billionaires, boasts the most property tycoons of any nation in the world. On a regional basis, Europe is far behind Asia and the U.S. with 31 billionaires, while the Middle East and Africa have a combined eight real estate billionaires. Notably, the fortunes of 50 Asian tycoons--half of those from that region--dropped year-over-year compared to 2015. Twenty-four, or about a quarter of the total, saw their fortunes rise, while nine were flat year-over-year. Twelve people in the Asian-Pacific nations joined the Billionaires List for the first time while four returned to it. Every single one of the new billionaires and returnees in Asia were from China or Hong Kong.
Prudence is observed in financial management, including in the contracting and use of loans, in the estimation of resources, revenues and reserves, and in the use of exceptional revenue. B Cultural diversity is treated as an asset, and continuous efforts are made to ensure that all have a stake in the local community, identify with it and do not feel excluded.
Looking out into the world today, it's easy to see why brands are more important now than at any time in the past 100 years. When Tata Motors of India bought Jaguar and Range Rover from Ford, they bought the brand; the brands were worth more than all other ingredients combined. Likewise, when Kraft bought Cadbury they bought the brands. When Four Seasons Hotels, Inc., a Canadian-based international luxury, five-star hotel management company, sold itself to Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, they bought the brand. Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations. The world has come online and there are many new markets and a growing middle class globally. These consumers buy brands. They buy premium brands. The best branding today is based on a strong idea. The best brands have remarkable creativity in advertising to help them break through people's wall of indifference to create brand heat and product lust. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brand building is an integral aspect of personal and business development. It not only increases the voice and consumer awareness of a brand, but it also gives it an identity and worth. The advent of participatory and interactive platforms has given many businesses the chance to enhance brand awareness and equity. Brands are valuable.
Though architects, designers, and landscapers all play important roles in shaping the buildings rising throughout the city, it’s real estate developers—subject to the City’s approval process—who ultimately control what gets built where and how.
Chinese and Indian Companies in recent years have become a more conspicuous presence in the city. The goal of the companys’ projects is to bring new density to the city’s neighbourhoods without encroaching upon the character that makes them unique.
The professional skills of those who deliver governance are continuously maintained and strengthened in order to improve their output and impact. The needs of future generations and sustainability of the community are taken into account in current policies. Decisions strive to internalize all costs and not to transfer problems and tensions, be they environmental, structural, financial, economic or social, to
future generations. There is a broad and long-term perspective on the future of the local community along with a sense of what is required for such development.
Prudence is observed in financial management, including in the contracting and use of loans, in the estimation of resources, revenues and reserves, and in the use of exceptional revenue. Cultural diversity is treated as an asset, and continuous efforts are made to ensure that all have a stake in the local community, identify with it and do not feel excluded. Financial Analysis has been a catalyst in attracting foreign investments.
A decade into Sri Lanka’s unprecedented construction boom, new and transformed neighbourhoods can make parts of our city feel unrecognizable within the span of a few years. With 10 years of rapid high-rise development behind us, low-rise streetscapes and vacant lots continue to give way to modern towers, as seemingly unending glass and steel condos re-make the urban landscape. With a large number of companies doing business in the city, understanding the different approaches taken by some of Sri Lanka’s top developers reveals a significant degree of variety in the market. Though architects, designers, and landscapers all play important roles in shaping the buildings rising throughout the city, it’s real estate developers—subject to the City’s approval process—who ultimately control what gets built where and how.
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