At the recently held ‘Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017’, Sri Lankan and international speakers shared their views and recommendations on Sri Lanka’s trade reform efforts, and the direction it should take, under the theme of ‘Executing a Smarter Trade Strategy Amidst Turbulence’. In this article we capture the insights shared by these experts. Some of the key themes that were explored were, whether the anti-globalisation rhetoric is a real threat, what is the smarter way for Sri Lanka to plan out its forward march towards liberalisation and trade integration and how can Sri Lanka latch on to the growth in Asia, using ASEAN as a pivot.
The session started off with presentations by Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Chair of the Global Economy Programme of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies and Dr. Harsha Vardhana Singh, Executive Director of Brookings India. The duo’s presentations were followed by a panel discussion, with the participation of Dr. Dushni Weerakoon, Deputy Director of the Institute of Policy Studies and Elizabeth Ward, Special Negotiator, Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, and Mr. Eric Miller, President and Founder of Rideau Potomac in USA. Mr. Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce moderated of the session.