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FILE PHOTO: A session at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit held in August last year in progress

On the threshold of entering into an era of unprecedented economic growth, spotlight falls on Sri Lanka in 2016 with the much awaited Sri Lanka Economic Forum 2016.

Under a theme of “Steering Sri Lanka towards Sustainable & Inclusive Development”, the Sri Lanka Economic Forum is held in Colombo at the Cinnamon Grand on the 07th and 08th of January 2016 under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Forum will be graced by the likes of international investor and Founder Chairman of Open Society George Soros and Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph Stieglitz, in addition to a glittering line up of internationally acclaimed experts and other distinguished visitors.

The Sri Lanka Economic Forum will set the stage for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the need to develop government policy along these identified areas of importance. The forum is based around these fundamental concepts and will set the stage for many globally recognized thought leaders to share their perspectives on Sri Lanka, while also sharing lessons learnt from other countries and their experiences in measuring development as well.

The event will also address the vision of  Prime Minister Wickremesinghe towards heralding in inclusive economic prosperity for Sri Lanka by 2023.

In addition to George Soros and Joseph Stiglitz, the panel of distinguished speakers includes Ricardo Hausman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Development, Harvard Kennedy School Director, Centre for International Development, Alan Hirsch, Director, Graduate School for Development Policy and Practice, University of Cape Town, Robert F. Conrad, Associate Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Christopher Woodruff, Professor of Economics, University of Warwick, Erion Veliaj, Mayor, City of Tirana, Albania, Filipe Campanile, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Ljubica Nedelkoska, Growth Lab Research Fellow, Centre for International Development, Montek Singh Aluwalia, Visiting Professor, Stern School of Business, New York University and, Sean Turnell, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Macquarie University.

“The findings of the preliminary study on Sri Lanka carried out by The Harvard University’s Centre for International Development, would be addressed at the Sessions. The study identified four key areas of risk and opportunity that are believed to be strategic in supporting sustained and an inclusive long-term economic growth for Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Accordingly, these are outlined as macroeconomic and fiscal stability, structural transformation and competitiveness, urbanization and development and regional development and social inclusion.
Macroeconomic and fiscal stability – Sri Lanka will face a formidable choice in determining the establishment of a solid foundation towards sustaining long-term growth through sound monetary and fiscal policy.

Structural transformation and competitiveness – The sustainability of economic growth calls for Sri Lanka to convert its comparative advantages towards initiating industries that can grow and expand while supporting higher wages.

Urbanization and development – The exact choices must be made in urbanization that will ensure the right balance of productivity, competitiveness and sustainability, which will also impact national development, and the sustenance of livelihoods.

Regional development and social inclusion – As Sri Lanka comes face to face with the challenges of structural transformation and urbanization, some sectors of the economy are likely to face a greater pressure than others, which may excessively affect some regions and social groups over others.

Live streaming of the event and further information can be obtained at www.srilankaeconomicforum.org.