The State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development Namal Rajapaksa delivered the keynote address on the theme “Digital Inclusion and Transformation in South Asia” at a virtual event that took place today (Aug. 27).
The event, organized jointly by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) of India, Colombo Initiative in Sri Lanka and the Sappani Foundation in Canada, aimed to promote engagements between Sri Lanka, India and other nations in the region, which also aligns with Minister Rajapaksa’s vision to elevate Sri Lanka as a global hub for digital technology and commerce.
The event featured prominent digital industry leaders from India and Sri Lanka, who unanimously agreed on the need to create a truly “inclusive” digital growth in the South Asian region.
During the keynote address, Minister Rajapaksa announced that the Sri Lankan Government is actively pursuing blockchain technology, which would facilitate digital currencies and a larger digital economy in the future. This initiative falls in line with the vision of the government to build a technology-based society: “Smart Nation.”
Minister Rajapaksa also invited corporations to start investing more in digital platforms and online trading, assuring a simplified processes for e-businesses in the future.
“We are looking at attracting more investment in the e-commerce space,” he said.
Commenting about the significant business opportunities in the e-sports industry, Minister Rajapaksa said, “We are also looking at promoting e-sports and gaming, with so many talented youth and an already vibrant community of gamers and developers a like, we see a lot of promise in this, especially for the younger generations. Globally e-sports remains a $100 billion dollar industry with infinite potential.”
The Minister encouraged Sri Lankan youth to explore these avenues to create a livelihood for themselves, while contributing to develop new industries.
He also urged the youth who are stuck indoors during the pandemic to capitalize on the digital space, not only to express their creativity but also to monetize it and thereby contribute towards the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Further, Minister Rajapaksa highlighted that governments, civil society and the private sector must work together to ensure that digital technologies benefit not only the economy but also society and the environment and have inclusion at their heart.
It was also pointed out that the aforesaid collaboration between multiple stakeholders will pave the way to realize the true transformative potential of digital technologies in accelerating the progress of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.