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Naveen Wickremaratne at the South Asian Economic Students Meet

Naveen Wickremaratne, a final year student at the University of Colombo majoring in economics, won the Mahabub ul Haq & Amartya Sen Best Research Paper Award at the recently concluded South Asian Economic Students Meet (SAESM) which was held in Katmandu, Nepal.

Every year, 10 handpicked undergraduates specializing in economics from each South Asian country gets to take part in the event where they have to compete against students from other countries in the region in two competitions: best research paper and the quiz.
According to Wickremaratne, six out of the ten participants from each country has to take part in the competition to select the best research paper while four have to take part in the quiz.

He said that India had 20 participants and therefore 12 students competing to win the award for the best research paper. “Each member in the team gets a different theme to work on– mine was ‘infrastructure, connectivity and trade,” Wickremaratne said.

He further added: “Under that theme, my research title was ‘the impact of infrastructure and trade openness on economic growth in South Asia’. There were eight participants who presented their papers under the same theme. First, my paper was picked as the best out of eight papers, and then it was adjudged the best research overall.”

He said that this was the first time a Sri Lankan student has won this award.

Wickremaratne is currently an intern at the Institute of Policy Studies and aspires to become a lecturer and a Policymaker.