Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) R D S Kumararatne has been unanimously elected to chair the Fifth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) key annual meeting the “High-level International Investment Agreements Conference on Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Productive Capacity – building and Sustainable Development” that is being held in Geneva from 09 – 11 October 2017. The meeting is devoted to discuss reforms of international investment agreements.
As the Chair, Ambassador Kumararatne in his opening remarks highlighted the current financial gap of US Dollar 2.5 Trillion in meeting the sustainable development goals for developing countries and therefore the need for the best possible policies at national and international levels that can attract and channel investment to the countries, areas and vulnerable groups that are most in need of such investments.
The international dimension is, for many countries, a key component as there is a need for foreign investment to complement scarce domestic resources in many countries.
While appreciating the key role played by UNCTAD in taking up the discussions on international investment policies on sustainable development, Ambassador Kumararatne stated that the high level conference could be another milestone in the global policy debate on investment for sustainable development.
This conference was attended by over 200 delegates and experts from all over the world. Ambassdor Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Mrs. Champika Malalgoda, Executive Director, Research and Policy Advocacy Department of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka represented Sri Lanka at this meeting.
Ambassador Kumararatne, previously led the Asian Group of developing countries at WTO (the largest Group of Countries in the WTO) as Chair-person for 2016.
Prior to taking his new assignment as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the WTO, Ambassador Kumararatne has served as Director General of Commerce of the Department of Commerce.