The beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka is in the grip of economic turmoil.
The disaster, however, did not occur overnight. Fuel, food, and medicine shortages have plagued people for months. At more than 50%, inflation seems to be spiralling out of control.
In May, for the first time in its history, Sri Lanka failed to make an interest payment on its foreign debt. Debt interest failures can damage a country’s reputation with investors, limiting its ability to borrow on international markets. Help has come, but it may just not be enough.
In July, the country declared an emergency after the president fled amid months of protests over the island’s economic crisis. This was soon followed by the prime minister instructing the military to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to restore order.
As a result of the president’s departure, Sri Lanka is exposed to a potential power vacuum. Without political stability, economic prosperity is nigh impossible. To tackle the financial crisis, the country needs a functioning government, which it does not have. Any bailout may be delayed until a new administration is in place and can find the stability to raise interest rates and taxes to help fund these deals.
It is a difficult, but not impossible situation to emerge from, provided that timely international assistance is provided. We hope that peace and prosperity will soon return to its shores.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s economy has grown exponentially due to political stability and vision, and its industrialisation has progressed rapidly in recent years, earning it the title of ‘Asian Tiger’. On pages…Jahir Ahmed sets out to find out why a country that was once considered to be amongst the top sweatshops in the world has become a very attractive investment location in several business sectors, including the glass industry.
There is a growing movement among consumers to boycott single-use plastic, and container glass manufacturers believe that this will increase demand for their products. According to Rohan Gunasekara, however, other materials are gaining ground. Aluminium cans, for example, are gaining popularity, and the plastics industry is rebuffing those trends. Are the glass container manufacturers up to the challenge? Find out on pages…
Starting this edition, we introduce you to ‘Insight Asia’, a fascinating pictorial journey through a unique event taking place within our industry – whether it is the opening of a new office or setting up of a new furnace – you will find it here in these colourful and dynamic pages. A picture is worth a thousand words and in this new segment, pages… you will see why.
It is almost time for Glasstec 2022. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with the global glass community and experience real trade fair feeling has arrived. For the glass industry, this is the event to attend – to see and to be seen. Taking place 20-23 September, you could expect the entire international glass industry to gather under one roof in Dusseldorf, Germany. We will be there to meet old acquaintances and make new ones. Will you be there?
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