Seminar on South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation

A seminar on South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation was held at the IPS Premises, where Dr. Sanjaya Kathuria, Lead Economist on Regional Integration at the World Bank’s South Asia Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit, Washington, D.C., conducted a presentation on “Regional Integration in South Asia: The World Bank’s Approach”.  Having highlighted the untapped potential in South Asia, Dr. Kathuria argued that logistics and location, human capital, and wind power are Sri Lanka’s strengths in regional cooperation. He also emphasized the high cost of trading between countries within South Asia compared to trading outside the region. He concluded the discussion by sharing the initiatives that World Bank has taken to date to contribute to the regional cooperation in South Asia. Presentation stimulated the discussion on concerns over scope of value chains, shortage of skilled labour, lack of strategies to attract FDI within the region and many other avenues.

The event was chaired by IPS Executive Director, Dr. Saman Kelegama. Among those present at the discussion were IPS Deputy Director Dr. Dushni Weerakoon, Department of Commerce, Director General, Mr. R.D.S. Kumararatne, IPS research staff and lecturers and students from University of Colombo.