Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva, State Minister of International Trade and Export Development Board Chairperson Indira Malwatte briefing the attendees PIC BY KUSHAN PATHIRAJA
T h e E x p o r t Developmen t Board (EDB) yesterday briefed foreign diplomats and Lankan Consul Generals on the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2016 to be held in October this year. “The government is now looking at investments for export markets instead of infrastructure,” EDP C h a i r p e r s o n I n d i r a M a l w a t t e t o l d t h e gathering at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. International Trade and Development Strategies State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that winning the bid to host the International Trade Centre’s flagship event shows t h e w o r l d ’s confidence in Sri Lanka. “We’re trying to make it an investor- friendly country,” he said. He added that the g o v e r n m e n t h a d a t t emp t e d t o g e t Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Alibaba creator Jack Ma to speak at the forum, and is now attempting to persuade Virgin Founder Richard Branson.
This year’s WEDF edition is themed ‘Trade for Success: Connect, Compete, Change’. EDB Additional Director General Jeevani Siriwardena said that discussions will focus on how the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other regional trade agreements and e-commerce will affect development. WEDF includes roundtable and panel discussion, speeches, workshops, field visits and business-to-business meetings between foreign delegates and Sri Lankan companies. Siriwardena said that opportunities in Sri Lanka in the ICT, tourism, food and manufacturing sectors will be promoted to the delegates. (CW)