In-focus sessions at WEDF 2016 to highlight intra-regional trade and youth innovation

10 October 2016
ITC News
Harnessing soft infrastructure, quality logistics services and the creativity of young entrepreneurs to bolster growth in developing countries

The 16th World Export Development Forum (WEDF), in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 12-13 October, will bring together more than 650 business leaders, policymakers, representatives from trade and investment support institutions and international business development officials to discuss – and come up with solutions to – challenges to the international competitiveness of companies in developing countries.

On the WEDF programme are high-level panel discussions, practical workshops and B2B meetings on consumer trends, business strategies and trade policies to empower businesses and governments alike to better navigate the evolving trade and development landscape.

Two high-level ‘in-focus’ sessions on the first day will offer practical business cases and concrete policy options.

The first, ‘Trade facilitation and logistics in regional integration’, will provide insights on priorities for enhancing intra-regional trade. Panellists will pay particular attention to logistics as a means of promoting trade and regional integration. Stefano Arganese, CEO Central Eastern Southern Europe and Americas, Middle East, Africa of DHL Freight, and Susan Stone, Director, Trade and Investment Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, will explore how quality infrastructure, transparent cross-border regulations and superior logistics services will enable more successful intra-regional trade.

The second in-focus session, ‘Young entrepreneurs enable innovation’, will feature a panel of experienced young entrepreneurs including Dulith Herath, CEO of; Ruwindhu Peiris, Vice Chairman of SLASSCOM and Leila Khan, Chairwoman of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, who will share experiences on how to transform ideas into reality and overcome key barriers to trade for fledgling businesses. Large populations of young people in much of the developing world are potentially vital sources of new ideas, entrepreneurship, and growth. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about current trends in business models, and explore how young entrepreneurs see innovation and how governments and institutions can support young entrepreneurs in their efforts to innovate.