The Prime Minister awarding the ‘Dr. Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant’ to Thisali de Silva of the University of Colombo while Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama looks on
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana
Delivering the keynote address at the Saman Kelegama Memorial Conference yesterday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that Sri Lanka has to address weaknesses in trade competitiveness, eliminate trade barriers, tackle anti-dumping legislation, and help domestic industries become competitive.
The policy aim of the government is to create a dynamic private sector which will drive growth, he further highlighted.
The Prime Minister added that the infrastructure-led growth, which was a strategy adopted in post-conflict Sri Lanka, is not sustainable.
“Currently we are pushing to transform our foreign finances from loans to investments,” he said, noting that industrialisation that is going to take place in Sri Lanka is crucial in this regard.
Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering the keynote address
The conference was organised by the Institute of Policy Studies of (IPS) Sri Lanka to mark the first year death anniversary of its former Executive Director, late Dr. Saman Kelegama, around the theme ‘Managing Domestic and International Challenges and Opportunities in Post-Conflict Development: Lessons from Sri Lanka.’ Delivering the opening remarks at the conference, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama paid a tribute to Dr. Kelegama, who had made a tremendous contribution to the country’s economic policy, especially trade policy of Sri Lanka.
IPS Executive Director Dr.Dushni Weerakoon, meanwhile, said that Dr.Kelegama was an inspiration for a generation of young economists in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.
The ‘Dr. Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant’, initiated to foster an evidence-based research culture among economics students in Sri Lanka, was awarded to Thisali de Silva of the University of Colombo.