ARTNeT Conference on Empirical and Policy Issues of Integration in Asia and the Pacific

ARTNeT Conference on ‘Empirical and Policy Issues of Integration in Asia and the Pacific’,  took place at the Hotel Galadari during 1 – 2 November 2012. The conference theme was competitiveness and economic diversification. It aimed to provide a forum for policy makers and researchers to present and discuss the ARTNeT Phase 3 research findings and policy implications. This event was organized back-to-back with the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2012.

Chief Guest at the event was the Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation and the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning. The welcome and introductory remarks were delivered by Executive Director of IPS, Dr. Saman Kelegama; Dr. Ravi Ratnayake, Director Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP; and Dr. Evan Rue of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The Forum consisted of seven individual sessions on themes such as trade facilitation for poverty reduction; measuring non-tariff and behind-the-border barriers; production network facilitation role of services; and intraregional investment. Many expert speakers such as, Dr. Saman Kelegama, Dr. Anura Ekanayake, Dr. Sisira Jayasuriya, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, and Dr. Ravi Ratnayake, made presentations and were discussants at these special sessions.

Chandana Karunaratne of the IPS made a presentation on “Export Processing Zones and their impact on trade facilitation and poverty reduction in Sri Lanka” in the first session; while Anushka Wijesinha, Research Economist at the IPS was a panel discussant in the session on “Competitiveness and Economic Diversification” and Dr. Kelegama moderated the session on Intraregional Investment.