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High level delegation visits WEF as follow-up to Davos Summit

28 March 2016 12:07 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Following the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos in January, a Sri Lankan delegation consisting of senior government officials and representatives from the private sector recently engaged in a two-day follow-up meeting at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva.

C o o r d i n a t ed by th e Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, the visit was aimed at strengthening the engagement between Sri Lanka and the WEF and to identify specific areas of engagement

The WEF is the world’s leading “platform” that brings global political leaders, private sector leaders and thought leaders together to engage, discuss and deliberate and learn from each other.During their visit on 21-22 March, the Sri Lanka delegation met Professor Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the World Economic Forum and several Managing Directors and senior teams representing different initiatives of the international organization.

Coming two months after Sri Lanka’s participation in Davos, this visit highlighted the strong commitment of both the Sri Lanka government and the WEF to forge a new chapter in cooperation and collaboration between the two parties.

The discussions centred on engagement by Sri Lanka across several areas of the WEF initiatives: economic growth and social inclusion, international trade and investment, agriculture and food security, future of production systems and the future of internet. In introductory remarks, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha emphasized the importance of availing of the present momentum in collaboration with the WEF to ensure tangible benefits to Sri Lanka. While focusing on concrete next steps in the already identified areas, he also encouraged seeking out other areas where there was considerable scope for publicprivate sector partnership, such as in developing the resurgent tourism industry, where the extensive network and best practices available in various WEF platforms could benefit Sri Lanka.

The delegation from Sri Lanka led by Mangala Yapa, Managing Director (Designate), Agency for Development, Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade, included Sonali Wijeratne, Director General of the Department of Commerce, Dr. Rohan Wijekoon, Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Asitha Seneviratne, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma, Member of the Board of the ICT Agency, and Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the WTO Ambassador R. D. S. Kumararatne, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Jayasuriya and Second Secretary Mafusa Lafir, were also associated in the meetings. During the meetings at the WEF, the Sri Lanka delegation also discussed opportunities for Sri Lankan government agencies as well as Sri Lankan companies to engage in future WEF initiatives, and the specific next steps currently being planned. The World Economic Forum has already invited several policymakers from Sri Lanka to attend the 25th

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