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Minister Malik Samarawickrama uses a gavel gifted by the ITC to mark the countdown for the WEDF on May 5

The EDB has taken a bold step towards creating a true sense of the word of Public, Private Partnership with the recent launch of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF)-2016 to be held in Sri Lanka in October, the State Minister for International Trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe says.

Several leading professionals who have been invited from National Chambers and Product Associations to steer various ‘action groups’ have been appointed to head six different Committees tasked to map strategies and plan all aspects of arrangements to successfully hold the two-day conclave which is the 16th edition of the WEDF.

The Committees are organized as: 1) Event and Destination Management – Program and Local Speakers 2) Committee on Mini Exhibition, Local Participation mobilization, B2B Program and women’s 3) Committee on Touristic Packages, Field Factory Visits, Visa and Protocol Arrangements and Conference Packs) Committee on Sponsorships 5) Committee on Publicity and Media) Committee on Financial Arrangements .

Each of these committees is represented by a senior EDB official who will be the focal point for the respective subject committees.

“The private sector will drive these committees and in turn, the EDB officers will implement the plans of the steering committee. In addition, senior officers of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka Tourism and the Department of Commerce are also working hand in hand with all chamber representatives in organizing coordinated work plans based on given time targets and deliverables,” Senasinghe stated.

The launch of the WEDF 2016, the flagship event of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) was held last month at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. The announcement on the WEDF, which is to be held on October 12 and 13 at the BMICH, was made by the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickreme, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) Arancha Gonzales, and the Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Indira Malwatte.

WEDF is a unique global conference and Business-to-Business (B2B) matchmaking platform dedicated to supporting trade-led development.

As the flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC), WEDF brings together over 600 business leaders, policymakers, heads of trade and investment support institutions and international trade development officials to address international competitiveness for developing countries.

This 16th edition of WEDF is co-hosted by ITC and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, through the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB).

The theme of the WEDF 2016 is ‘Trade for Success: Connect, Compete, Change’.

Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe chairs a discussion on WEDF 2016
Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe chairs a discussion on WEDF 2016