“Inclusive Growth towards Economic Transformation”

The Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists (SLFUE) held a press conference at University of Sri Jayewardenepura recently. Among the participants, Prof. Sampath Amartunge (Vice Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura), Dr. Sumudu Perera (Chair - SLFUE), Dr. Janak Kumarasinghe (Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce) and Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan (Former Chair - SLFUE) were present. Prof. Sampath Amaratunge pointed out that the University of Sri Jayewardenepura have always been facilitating and reinforcing the academic collaborations of all disciplines while Dr. Janak Kumarasinghe brought out the fact that the Department of Business Economics has been growing rigorously over the past decades ever since its inception.

SLFUE is a network of all Departments and Units teaching Economics within the Sri Lankan national university system. Dr. T L Gunaruwan further explaining the importance of such a forums stated that the objective of SLFUE is to promote closer co-operation, dialogue, collaborative research and mutual enhancement among the academics in the field of Economics. The forum has now grown in to a fully-fledged body representing university economists at national level. As the major annual event, SLFUE organizes the Sri Lanka Economics Research Conference (SLERC) enabling academics and researchers in the field of Economics to publish their research work and disseminate knowledge. Hence it is expected that the findings would outreach the wider public and policy makers’ attention. The first international conference of SLFUE was successfully held at University of Colombo in 2012 while the second was held at University of Peradeniya in 2013. The last conference which was the 3rd in line was held at University of Ruhuna in 2014.

Current chair of the SLFUE, Dr. Sumudu Perera, the Head of the Department of Business Economics of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce mentioned in the press conference that the committee is prepared to announce the fourth international Conference of SLFUE. It is planned to be held on 20th and 21st of November 2015 at Hotel Janaki, Colombo 05. She further added that with the growth of the forum this year’s conference may accommodate outsider participation. Any party interested to participate the conference may request registration via an email sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This year’s theme of the conference is “Inclusive Growth towards Economic Transformation” which is a timely and a demanding theme for today’s economy. Inclusive Growth refers both to the pace and pattern of long-term change in dominant economic activity in terms of growth which is interlinked and should be addressed together. It encompasses both the aspects of growth where micro dimension captures the importance of structural transformation for economic diversification and competition, including creative construction and destruction of business models and markets while the macro dimensions capture the rapid and sustained high levels of quality of life. Economic transformation is the long-term change in dominant economic activity in terms of prevailing relative engagement or employment of able individuals which is essential for poverty reduction and productivity change. Inclusive growth is one step ahead of economic transformation and an essential ingredient for balanced economic transformation.

The Key note speech of the conference will be delivered by Dr. Saman Kelegama (Executive Director – Institute of Policy Studies) at the conference inaugural ceremony. The panel discussion on the same theme will be conducted afterwards with the participation of representatives and Senor Economists from World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Centre for Poverty Analysis and also former President of Chamber of Commerce and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva. The second day of the conference is planned to begin with a plenary session delivered by a Senior Economist from Asian Development Bank (ADB) followed by two parallel technical sessions, totalling for eight specialisation areas during the whole day under.

Hence, the conference intend to provide the platform for the academics, policy makers and critiques share their new knowledge and views on current practices and way forward, as inclusivity is indispensible in economic transformation leading to higher levels of quality of life and well-being of a nation.