The government is working on formulating a strategy for digitizing the economy which will usher a new era in the digital landscape of the country.
The Digital Strategy will be present for Cabinet approval in the end of August, said Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Wasantha Deshapriya. Speaking to Daily News Business on Thursday in Colombo he said the study was carried out by Makinsey & Company and upon receiving approval it will be put in for implementation.
He said under the strategy they have identified 13 projects in various sectors and the three key sectors that have been identified were agriculture, tourism and manufacturing with plantations, fisheries also coming into the scene.
These 13 projects will be facilitated by setting up a global logistics centre and having a number of export villages connecting it where people should be able to export their products seamlessly and expeditiously. He said there were a number of impediments in the legal area which were hampering the growth of especially the digital export industry. To overcome this, the government was going to introduce the Data Protection Act where the data in the electronic platform of whoever involved in export will be protected.
Deshapriya said that they were also trying to streamline the regulations involved in the Customs procedures. Although a single window platform has been set up there were still rough edges which were to be smoothened in the export and import industry. The Secretary also said there were a number of projects in line to improve the utilization consumption of digital technology which will enhance the exports of the country. “We want all the small and medium scale companies to use digital technologies and we expect digital consumption to go up at the same time, especially in the area of export.
He said fish exports, plantation and agriculture products will also come into the fore and the government will facilitate and support the exporters to improve their exports through digitalization.
Deshapriya said they also plan to introduce e-passports with bio-metric information and also e-gates at the immigration. He said De La Rue has been selected to implement the e-passport project and the company was working with the Immigration Department and in the first quarter of next year the people could see the e-passport.