“The following excerpts are from remarks made by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the 15th Governing Council meeting of the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries for Science and Technology”
Science and technology-based planning is what was used to build and transform the world. Indeed, technology provides answers to many of the challenges that are taking place in this dynamic world. Current COVID-19 pandemic and the development of different types of vaccines in record time with adequate clinical trials is a living example to show the important role that could be played by science and technology in human life.
It is well known that we face major challenges in introducing new technologies due to high capital investment. Similarly, there is heavy competition developing countries have to face. As a result, our own inventions do not progress much. My government, therefore, has established a separate Ministry for Technology under my purview to introduce new technologies in all feasible sectors enabling us to increase our market share in the global economy.
Exchanging technologies, through a centre of this nature would be a strategic approach to minimize our capital investment in introducing new technologies. Sri Lanka has currently embarked on introducing a scientific approach and technological advancements in major economic sectors such as Information and Communication Technology, agriculture, plantations, and fisheries. We are more than happy to collaborate with other member countries in sharing our best practices in these sectors.
Nevertheless, if a country to become a technology-based economy, it is important that local and indigenous technologies are integrated with high-end technologies. Sri Lanka has a proud history of indigenous and traditional technologies that are environmentally friendly. This would further elevate the level of cooperation between member countries specially in introducing and developing new industrial start-ups in several fields including herbal and food technology so as to address issues in pandemic situations.
The entire world is now moving towards developing strategies and plans to overcome the adverse impacts caused by COVID-19. Sri Lanka is no exception. Fortunately, Sri Lanka has a strong health system to handle pandemics and we also observe that the recent pandemic has presented a greater opportunity for the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) sector, especially to showcase the abilities of researchers, scientists and inventors in meeting the immediate needs of the health sector.