Colombo, August 11: English laws will apply to the autonomous Colombo Port City, which is being built with Chinese funds and expertise, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said here on Thursday.
Speaking at the Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit 2016, Wickremesinghe said that a British team would be in Sri Lanka soon to advice the government on this.
To be known as the Financial City, the Colombo Port City, to be built on land reclaimed from the sea near the Colombo Port, is expected to be a business and financial hub between Singapore and Dubai.
The Lankan Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka would have to exploit the advantages given to it by its location plumb in the middle of the Indian Ocean which has become the latest growth center of the world. It plans to be the logistic and energy hub also. And to achieve this, it must put in modern systems and place in it appropriate human resources.
On the development of human resources, he said that government plans to ensure a 13 year school education fitted with a vocational training scheme so that school levers, now unemployable, become employable. Towards this end, an Employment and Education Act is being planned, he said. Government is also planning to make life long learning possible so that anybody at anytime can acquire the skills needed to take up a trade.
The Prime Minister further said that government will set up an Employment Relations Council to coordinate education, training and employment. Government wants entrepreneurs and wage earners to come out of the “low wage mentality” as Sri Lanka is now a middle income country which should go on to become a higher technology ,better skilled and higher wages country than it is now.
K.T.Rama Rao, Industry and Commerce Minister of Telangana said that his state has set up a Skills Development Academy which gets entrepreneurs and the universities together to work out an apprentice scheme for university students so that when they graduate they become employable.
Rao also stressed the need to inculcate in South Asian youth, an entrepreneurial spirit. The inculcated fear of risk taking should go and failure should not be considered damning. The youth should aim to be job givers and not merely job seekers, he said.
The Chief Minister of Perak State in Malaysia Dr.Zambry Abdul Kadir said that vocational education has been woven into general education in Perak and higher education has been made accessible to all as education is key to development. To sustain economic development and to ensure political stability, Malaysia delivers economic and social justice through affirmative action, ethnic equity and devolution of power, Kadir said.
Dr. Amit Dar, Director Human Development ,World Bank, said that skills development should take place from childhood. Studies show that when this is done, the child gains significantly in later years as a working adult.