Shaping Local Economy Through Lessons Learnt


On November 28, 2018, At Centre for Banking Studies, Colombo


Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) successfully conducted a national level Experience Sharing Forum on Local Economic Development in Practice under the theme of Shaping Local Economy Through Lessons Learnt, on November 28, 2018 at the Centre for Banking Studies, Central Bank, Rajagiriya, Colombo.

The objective of this forum was to create an opportunity for various development agencies and individual experts to share their experience in four important themes of local economic development – Local Economic Development Through Regional Industrialization; Market System Approach for Local Economic Development; Role of Producer Organizations/Social Enterprises in Local Economic Development; and Sustainable Consumption and Production in Local Economic Development.

Hon. K C Logeswaran, Governor, North Western Province graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka delivered the keynote address as the Guest of Honour. In his address, Dr. Coomaraswamy discussed the current status of national economy and tried to show how the performance of national economy affects for the local economic development. In addition, Mr. P.B.M. Sirisena, Chief Secretory of North Western Province/Chairman of ISB and several senior officials of the North Western Provincial Council also attended in this forum. 

The forum consisted of four technical sessions and each session consisted of a paper presentation for about 30 – 45 minutes and a panel discussion for about 45 – 60 minutes. A group of nationally recognized experts in local economic development joined in panel discussions.   The panel comprise with the representatives from Academia, Policy makers, Ministry Secretaries, INOs/NGOs, Development Agencies, Public and Private sector.

More than 100 participants representing various government organizations, bilateral and multinational development agencies, UN agencies, local NGOs, government and private banks, private sector organizations, government projects, embassies, etc. participated in this event.

The first session of the programme commenced with the presentation on “Local Economic Development through Regional Industrialization – A Case Study on Heraliyawela Industrial Park, Kurunegala”. In this session, the impacts of Heraliyawela Industrial Park and Dangaspitiya Industrial Park Kurunegala, North Western Province on local economic development were analyzed in order to explore the possibilities of replicating this model in less developed areas in the country as a source of SME development, regional industrialization and creating new employment opportunities.  Mr. Neelakanth Wanninayake, Executive Director/CEO, Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) was the presenter of this session. This was followed by a panel discussion comprising of Dr. Aminda Perera, Senior Lecturer, Wayamba University, Mr. Lawrance Madapatha, Executive Director (Zones) BOI, Mr. Roy Jayasinghe, Consultant to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Chandrarathne Vithanage, Asst. Sectretary General Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and an award wining local entrepreneur Mr. Nashad Nawaz, Managing Director Wayamba Print Pack.

The second session focused on Market System Approach for Local Economic Development. In this session, it was analyzed how far the value chain development approach is appropriate to address the market system development and identification of gaps in the implementation stage of both value chain analysis and value chain development. Mr. Shantha Jayasundara, Assistant Director (Enterprise Development & Training), Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) is the presenter of this session was the presenter of this session. The panel was consisting of Dr. Manoj Thibbotuwawa, Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Country Director, Turner Investments Inc,, Mrs. Merrileen Peramuna, Director of Enterprise Development, USAID, VEGA Biz+, Mr. Sisira Fernando,, Economic and Agriculture Development Specialist, World Vision Lanka, Mr. Haridas Fernando, Deputy General Manager-Agri. Business Cargills (Ceylon) PLC, and Dr. Thomas Kring, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO Country Office Sri Lanka and Maldives were share their experience on Market System based Value Chain Development.

The third session addressed the role of Producer Organizations in local econo ic development. Many development agencies are using various Producer Organization-led livelihood/enterprise development models as a mean of creating more income and employment generating opportunities for the members of PO, as sustainable way out of poverty. However, the efficacy of these models is questionable due to many failures, despite few success cases. Therefore, in this session, these PO-led models was analyzed with few case studies, and seek the possibility of developing them successful social enterprises. Mr. Anusha Bandara, Director (Project Management & Consultancy) Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) was the presenter of this session. Prof. Kennedy Gunawardana, Faculty of Management Science, Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Lalith Welamedage, Managing Director, Lanka Social Ventures, Mr. Mohommed Muzzain, Programme Manager, United Nations Development Programme. Mrs. Samadanie Kiriwandeniya, Chairperson, SANASA Development Bank, Dr. Nirmal De Silva, Co-Founder/CEO Paramount Reality will represent as the panelists for the third session.

The final session focused on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).

Sri Lanka has prepared a SCP policy document with the consultation of many relevant stakeholders. This initiative was taken by the Ministry of Mahaweli Developments and Environment and currently seeks cabinet approval.  In parallel there are many other initiatives already in place in the form of Eco labeling platforms, Green public procurements etc. Therefore, in this session the current developments and the Sri Lankan experience in the application of SDG No. 12 and SCP concepts were presented. Eng. Ajith Vidanapathirana, Director (Technical and Environmental Services), Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) was the presenter of this session. An expert panel shared their expertise and experience on the subject after the presentation, representing of Eng. Gamini Senanayake, Key Expert, SWITCH Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production National Policy Support Component, Ministry of Environment and Mahaweli Development, Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Dr. Sugath Yalegama, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Mr. Sena Peiris, Consultant Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and Mr. Chalaka Fernanado, General Manager-Sustainability, MAS Fabrics, MAS Holdings PLC.