Conference & Launch of the Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) for 2013

The Conference & Launch of the Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) for 2013 themed, ‘Turning the Tide: Towards Inclusive Trade and Investment’ was held at the IPS Auditorium on November 26, 2013. The conference was organized by IPS together with the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT).

Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation and Deputy Finance and Planning was the Chief Guest at the event; the Minister launched, the Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) 2013 of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) in Sri Lanka. The Minister in his speech stated that the publication of this report is timely, given that the budget 2014 which is currently being debated also focuses on inclusive growth. He mentioned that it is necessary to develop our own trade and development policy, while focusing on country specific solutions.

The welcome address was made by Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, IPS. Dr. Kelegama in his speech stated that growth underpinned by stability will allow Sri Lanka to meet its broader socio-economic development objectives of an inclusive growth process while bridging existing inequities. He also highlighted the importance of inclusive growth in a post-conflict setting, where economic exclusion can lead to social tensions and conflict, undermining the growth and development process of a country.

The welcome address was followed by a presentation on the key highlights of the Report by Suwendrani Jayaratne and Dharshani Premaratne, Research Officers, IPS. A panel discussion chaired by Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, IPS, followed the presentation. The panelists at the event, Dr. Nihal Samarappuli, Executive Director, Research and Policy Advocacy-Board of Investment, Dr. M. Ganeshamoorthy, Senior Lecturer-Department of Economics University of Colombo and Mr. Deshal De Mel, Senior Economist-Hayley’s Group discussed the Sri Lankan context, and focused on how to make trade and investment in the country more inclusive.

The 2013 APTIR Report shows that while the gains created by growth in the region have been significant, that it also remains home to the world’s largest concentration of poor people. The Report investigates how trade and investment can be made more inclusive, outlining transmission channels through which gains from trade, trade facilitation, FDI and related policies could be directed towards reducing poverty and inequality.

The Full Report can be downloaded at