Boosting Trade Competitiveness around Emerging “New Issues” in Multilateral Trade Agreements”

March 16 – 18, 2016

Hotel Galadari, Sri Lanka


A High Level Policymakers Workshop on “Boosting Trade Competitiveness around Emerging ‘New Issues’ in Multilateral Trade Agreements” was held in Colombo during 16th -18th March 2016. The workshop was organized by the Trade Competitiveness Section (TCS), Commonwealth Secretariat in Partnership with Department of Commerce, Government of Sri Lanka, IPS,and International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD).

The objective of the workshop was to build capacities of the Commonwealth member states including Sri Lanka on ‘new issues’ that may enter in to the multilateral arena with the emergence and rapid expansion of mega FTAs and identify opportunities and challenges in the existing and emerging trade agreements.

Addressing the inaugural session IPS Executive Director, Dr. Saman Kelegama said “the workshop provides a unique opportunity to gain both valuable insights from experts in the field as well as share each other’s experiences. In doing so, we are better placed to reinforce a common desire to boost the trade competitiveness of developing countries through greater market access, services liberalization, and trade facilitation”.

Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, was the chief guest at the event. IPS Researchers Janaka Wijayasiri, Suwendrani Jayaratne, Nipuni Perera and Kithmina Hewage were among the participants. Around 20 foreign participants from 10 Commonwealth member states participated at the workshop to share their insights.