Dilmah, Expolanka to support LKI’s Global Economy Programme

Jun 02, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s foreign policy think tank Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the MJF Group to establish a Global Economy Programme to focus on international trade, foreign investment, and tourism.

The establishment of the programme at LKI reflects the increasingly key role of economic diplomacy in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.

It will focus on international trade, foreign investment, and tourism, and its research aims to ensure that Sri Lanka’s economic diplomacy reflects sound research and innovative insights, as well as the potential and priorities of Sri Lanka’s private sector.

The MoU establishes a 3-year partnership between the MJF Group and LKI, to support LKI’s Global Economy Programme while Expolanka Holdings PLC, has also committed to facilitate quality research by enabling essential research databases for LKI’s research team.

The programme will be headed by Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, who will join LKI as Chair of the Global Economy Programme, supported by Dilmah.

Dr. Wignaraja’s experience over the last twenty-five years spans the private sector, international organisations, and academia in the UK and Asia. He has held senior roles at the Asian Development Bank, Maxwell Stamp PLC, OECD, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Oxford University.

Dr. Wignaraja’s expertise covers trade and competitiveness, supply chains and SMEs, infrastructure connectivity, development finance, and macroeconomic policy.

Harsha de Silva, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and new Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, expressing his thoughts said, this is the first time that the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka has established a partnership with our own globally recognised brands such as Dilmah and Expolanka to promote economic diplomacy.

“I’m appreciative of the fact that Dilmah and Expolanka responded immediately to my request for financial partnership in this endeavour and hope to see other global brands also join in promoting our efforts in economic diplomacy.”

LKI is grateful to Harsha de Silva, former deputy Foreign minister, for initiating the call for research support from the private sector as the funding will enable us to scale up research activities, and add compelling new voices to shape Sri Lanka’s foreign policy, Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne, executive director, LKI said.

The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) is a think tank focusing on Sri Lanka’s international relations and strategic interests, to provide insights and recommendations that advance justice, peace, prosperity and sustainability. The Institute reflects the vision of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar by promoting the country’s intellectual profile in foreign policy research and engagement.