Back row from left: Prof. Günther Rehme (Technische Universität Darmstadt), Deepak Kumar Behera (Indian Institute of Technology Madras), Charith Gamage (Central Bank of Sri Lanka), Dr. Sujeetha Jegajeevan (Central Bank of Sri Lanka), Dr. Yannick Lucotte (PSB Paris School of Business), Dr. Raj Rajesh (Reserve Bank of India), Dr. Kithsiri Ehelepola (Central Bank of Sri Lanka) and Rudra Prosad Roy (Jadavpur University)
Front row from left: Economic Research Additional Director Dr. Chandranath Amarasekara, Economic Research Additional Director and Research Advisory Panel Chairperson Dr. Yuthika Indraratne, USA University of St. Thomas Professor of Finance Prof. Lalith Samarakoon, former Republic of India Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Deputy Governor S. Lankatilake, Assistant Governor and Economic Research Director Mahinda Siriwardana and Economic Research Additional Director W.A. Dilrukshini
The ninth International Research Conference of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was held recently at the John Exter International Conference Hall of the Central Bank.
The conference, organised by the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank, aims to stimulate research on contemporary themes while providing a forum for researchers of central banks, monetary authorities, universities and other research institutions to present recent theoretical and empirical work on issues relating to central banking and macroeconomic management.
Since its inception in 2008, the International Research Conference has attracted scholars from across the globe and featured keynote addresses by eminent central bankers, academics and policymakers.
This year’s conference was held under the broad theme of ‘Sustainable development and macroeconomic policies in a challenging global and domestic environment’. The conference brought together distinguished members of academia, government institutions, policymaking bodies and research institutions.
The keynote address of the conference was delivered by former Republic of India Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who has been a key figure in the Indian economic reform process in the last few decades.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ahluwalia highlighted the importance of the ability of central banks to guide the markets through credible policy actions, in which quality research plays a pivotal role. Moreover, he pointed out the importance of shared efforts by the central bank and the fiscal authority to control aggregate demand in the economy by means of appropriate monetary instruments and fiscal tools. As such, he pointed out that the joint credibility of the central bank and fiscal authority, complemented by political stability, plays a critical role in maintaining macroeconomic stability of an economy.
Meanwhile, talking about macroeconomic modelling, Dr. Ahluwalia stated that appropriate modelling of institutional constraints in developing countries and the selection of right models are crucial for providing model-based economic advice for macroeconomic policymaking.
The inaugural address of the conference was delivered by Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. Speaking on sustainable development, the governor highlighted that social development has to be supplemented by creation of wealth and productive employment, in which quality of growth is an important factor.
Moreover, promotion of inclusive growth primarily through empowering people with education, training and skills development, presence of social safety nets, environment sustainability, gender parity and regional balance are essential for sustainable development. Further, the governor emphasised that in the context of a challenging global economic landscape, developing countries like Sri Lanka need to attach a high premium on prudent macroeconomic management. Under this, developing clear and stable frameworks for macroeconomic policymaking remains imperative. Such frameworks would enhance predictability and certainty of actions of the policymakers, while creating necessary space to weather exogenous shocks.
An invited presentation was delivered by USA University of St. Thomas Professor of Finance Prof. Lalith Samarakoon on ‘A Blueprint for Developing the Sri Lankan Financial Markets’. Prof. Samarakoon highlighted the key elements that need to be embedded in a capital market development plan and identified economic development policy and mechanism, financial sector development policy and mechanism and national level policy and high-level commitment as an indispensible trinity in a national framework for capital market development.
During the technical sessions of the conference, eight research papers on monetary policy, macroeconomic issues and financial sector issues, which were carefully selected through a thorough review process, were presented by researchers from various institutions, representing France, Germany, India, as well as researchers from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
In recognition of excellence in research, the Dr. D.S. Wijesinghe Memorial Award for the Best Research Paper was awarded to Dr. Sujeetha Jegajeevan of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for the paper titled ‘Understanding Sri Lankan Business Cycles through an Estimated DSGE Model’.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka intends to hold its next International Research Conference in late 2017.