Fri, Oct 28, 2016 | updated 04:02 AM IST

16th World Export Development Forum commences in Sri Lanka

Updated: Oct 12, 2016 13:23 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Oct. 12 (ANI): The 16th edition of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF 2016) will commence here today with all stakeholders related to trade in the world participating in it.

The two-day forum under the theme "Trade for Success: Connect, Compete, Change" is jointly being organized by the International Trade Centre and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka through the Export Development Board (EDB), reports the Colombo Page.

A unique global conference and business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking platform dedicated to supporting trade-led development, WEDF is touted to help businesses to navigate the new trade and development landscape.

WEDF is a flagship event of the ITC which brings together over 600 business leaders, policymakers, heads of trade and investment support institutions and international trade development officials to address international competitiveness for developing countries.

The forum facilitates international trade and provides a platform for open discussions on the most pressing trade issues and challenges faced across the world and especially in developing countries today.

Apart from 136 Sri Lankan companies who have registered for the B2B meetings, there are also 116 international buyers who have registered to participate. In total there are 497 registered foreign participants and 320 local participants.

Sri Lanka is hosting an event of this stature for the very first time and the resulting export opportunities are expected to be hugely beneficial to the economic development of the country.

The line-up of high-profile speakers will be led by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, which also includes Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland and Pakistan's Commerce Minister Khurran Dastgir Khan among others.

"This is one of the biggest events the new Government has undertaken.And we are well on track to making it an exceptional global conference," said Minister Samarawickrama.

EDB Chairperson and Chief Executive Indira Malwatte said that months of planning and organizing with the support of both the private and public sectors have reaped great benefits for the event already. (ANI)