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Seminar on “India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (ILCEPA): Opportunities and Challenges”, Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo, 10 July, 2008

 
Seminar on “India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (ILCEPA): Opportunities and Challenges”


A seminar on “India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (ILCEPA): Opportunities and Challenges” organized by the IPS in collaboration with India – Sri Lanka Joint Business Council and Indo – Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo on 10 July, 2008.

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Being a small island economy with a domestic market of 20 million people, the external economy has always played a key role in Sri Lanka’s long term development prospects. The process of globalization which took an ever increasing pace at the turn of the century is at a cross road in the aftermath of the global economic crisis of 2008/2009. In this context many countries have looked to take a step back from globalisation having been adversely affected due to exposure to global economic volatilities. However for a small island economy like Sri Lanka, the fact of global commercial interaction is all but a given, and it is not a question of whether the country should engage in the global economy, but how it should do so in a pragmatic manner. Several key issues need to be considered such as ensuring effective safety nets for vulnerable segments of the population – particularly given a large informal economy where income transfer schemes have a history of poor targeting. Government policy in conjunction with the private sector and other stakeholders will also need to devise ways of making trade more inclusive so as to ensure that the benefits of trade reaches a wider population, particularly in geographically isolated regions. It is important to ensure that such objectives can be achieved with minimum distortionary implications for efficiency. These are critical trade policy issues that are be engaged by IPS International Economic Unit research.

Vision

The vision of the International Economic Policy Unit of IPS is to become the premier research and policy advisory unit in the area of International Economics in Sri Lanka, and to achieve a high competitive standard among similar institutions in South Asia through the timely delivery of high-quality research. The Unit also intends to be a catalyst in supporting liberal and inclusive trade policy formulation in the country with strong linkages to overall economic development. Therefore, while its emphasis is on applied research, the Unit will contribute to government policy through linkages with key government institutions and also contribute to broader public debate on key issues related to Sri Lanka’s position in the global economy.