Public Lecture #6 Prof Robert Lawrence on Path to Prosperity :  Protectionism or Free Trade?
5:45 PM17:45

Public Lecture #6 Prof Robert Lawrence on Path to Prosperity : Protectionism or Free Trade?


"Path to Prosperity :  Protectionism or Free Trade?"

With the election of Donald Trump as the President of the US, the topic of trade protection has dominated the economic and business pages of the international press.
Long before the topic came into vogue, Sri Lanka was practising what Trump preached. For over a decade the Government intervened heavily to promote import substitution and local industry. Most Sri Lankans will be surprised to learn that the effective rate of protection is now at a similar level it was in the 1980’s,  reversing almost two decades of liberalisation.
The Fraser Institute which measures and ranks openness of trade amongst countries rank Sri Lanka 135 out of 159 countries mainly owing to complex procedures and high 'para tariffs'.

Is protecting local businesses from foreign competition the way forward for Sri Lanka ? Or should the country embrace globalisation and free trade?  In this lecture Prof Robert Lawrence from Harvard University's Kennedy School of government explores the topic.  

Who is Prof Lawrence? 

Robert Z. Lawrence is Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment, a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

He currently serves as Faculty Chair of The Practice of Trade Policy executive program at Harvard Kennedy School. He served as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1998 to 2000. Lawrence has also been a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has taught at Yale University, where he received his PhD in economics. His research focuses on trade policy. He is the author of Crimes and Punishments? Retaliation under the WTO; Regionalism, Multilateralism and Deeper Integration; Single World, Divided Nations?;andCan America Compete? He is coauthor of Has Globalization Gone Far Enough? The Costs of Fragmentation in OECD Markets (with Scott Bradford); A Prism on Globalization; Globaphobia: Confronting Fears About Open Trade; A Vision for the World Economy; and Saving Free Trade: A Pragmatic Approach. Lawrence has served on the advisory boards of the Congressional Budget Office, the Overseas Development Council, and the Presidential Commission on United States-Pacific Trade and Investment Policy.


5.45 PM -  Registrations and Refreshments
6.00 PM -  Introduction
6.10 PM -   Lecture by Prof Lawrence
6.45 PM -  Facts and Figures on Tariffs by Murtaza Jafferjee
7.00 PM -  Q&A with Prof Lawrenece moderated by Murtaza Jafferjee

View Event →
5:30 PM17:30

Public Lecture #5 Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta on Economic Rights in the Constitution

"When Rights do us Wrong"

There is a proposal to incorporate Socio-Economic rights into the proposed new constitution in Sri Lanka.  In a latest contribution to the growing debate,  Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta will offer his insights on the issue.  The Lecture will be followed by a Public Forum with Q&A from the audience.  The event is free and hosted jointly with Echelon Magazine.

Who is Pratap Bhanu Mehta? 

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is a leading political scientist and a public intellectual from India. He leads the Centre for Policy Research, one of India's top think tanks.  

Prof Mehta has taught at Harvard University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the New York University School of Law. His areas of research include political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy, and international affairs.

Prof Mehta has served on many central government committees, including India’s National Security Advisory Board, the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission, and a Supreme Court-appointed committee on elections in Indian universities. Mehta is a prolific writer; he is an editorial consultant to the Indian Express, and his columns have appeared in dailies including the Financial Times, the Telegraph, the International Herald Tribune, and the Hindu. He is also on the editorial boards of many academic journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Democracy, and India and Global Affairs.

Prof Mehta holds a BA (first class) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford and a PhD in politics from Princeton. He received the 2010 Malcom S. Adishehshiah Award and the 2011 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences - Political Science.


5.30 PM -  Registrations and Refreshments
6.00 PM -  Public Lecture by Prof Mehta
6.45 PM -  Q&A 

View Event →
5:30 PM17:30

Public Lecture #3 Prof Razeen Sally on Sri Lanka's Future : 3 Scenarios

Sri Lanka had a golden opportunity for a fresh start with regime change almost two years ago. Has it been squandered, like opportunities before? What lies ahead? In this lecture Razeen Sally presents three scenarios and the conditions, political, economic and social, that would make them happen.  Scenario One is 'take-off': a stable liberal democracy, sustainable and broadly shared economic growth, ethnic reconciliation and balanced international relations. Scenario Two is 'drift': populist, incompetent governance, crony economics, social discontent and China-tilting foreign relations. Scenario Three is 'relapse' -- back to Big Man illiberal democracy, a statist economy, ethnic strife and servitude to China. Now Sri Lanka hovers around Scenario Two, with Scenario One on the distant horizon and Scenario Three lurking around the corner. What needs to change to realise Scenario One and consign Scenario Three to history? And are Sri Lankans capable of making those changes?


Razeen Sally is  Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is also the Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies, the main economic think tank in his native Sri Lanka. He was on the faculty of the London School of Economics for eighteen years, where he also received his PhD. He has held adjunct teaching, research and advisory positions at universities and think tanks in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. He is on the Global Agenda Council for Competitiveness of the World Economic Forum, and was awarded the Hayek Medal by the Hayek Society in Germany in 2011. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and co-founded ECIPE, an economic think tank based in Brussels. 

Razeen Sally’s research and teaching focuses on global trade policy and Asia in the world economy. He has written on the WTO, FTAs, and on different aspects of trade policy in Asia. He has also written on the history of economic ideas, especially the theory of commercial policy.


This event is co-hosted by Echelon Magazine, who's editor Shamindra Kulamanage will moderate the Q&A Session.

View Event →
5:30 PM17:30

Public Lecture #2 Prof Prema-Chandra Athukorala on FDIs and Manufacturing for Export

Professor Prema-Chandra Athukorala will deliver the 2nd Public Lecture in our series of public lectures on the theme of 'Fixing the Sri Lankan economy'. 

The Professor will be speaking on the topic of  Foreign Direct Investment and Manufacturing for Export : Emerging Global Patterns and Opportunities for Sri Lanka

Professor Athukorala is a professor of economics at Australian National University and an expert on international trade. He is also on the board of advisors to Advocata Institute. 

Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist at Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will moderate the Question and Answer session.  

The event will be held on August 18, at Excel World Auditorium at 5.30 pm and is open, free of charge, to the public.  However,  attendees are to register online

Stay updated with the news about the events on the Facebook page dedicated to the event or on @Advocatalk on twitter

Full Profile of Prof Athukorala

View Event →
5:30 PM17:30

Public Lecture #1 - What's wrong with Sri Lanka's Economy? Public Lecture by Deshal de Mel

Economist Deshal de Mel is to deliver the first talk on the Advocata Institute's series of public lectures on the broad theme of "What's wrong with Sri Lanka's economy (And how to Fix it)".    In this first talk Deshal will take an overall look at the issues in the macroeconomic picture and suggest possible reforms on how to remedy it.

Who is Deshal de Mel?

Deshal de Mel is an economist who at present works for the Hayleys Group. Prior to joining Hayleys, Mr. de Mel worked for the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka. Mr. de Mel’s research has been published in a number of books and journals. Along with policy research, Mr. de Mel also represented the Government of Sri Lanka in inter-governmental trade negotiations. 

Mr. de Mel has a degree in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics from the University of Oxford and completed his Masters in International Political Economy at the London School of Economics.

Mr. de Mel serves on the Board of Directors of Sampath Bank PLC as a Non-Executive Director. He is also a Non-Executive Director of SC Securities (Pvt Ltd). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA). He also serves on the Economic Policy Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. 


View Event →