Advocata Institute was launched yesterday with the release of our inaugural report titled “The State of State Enterprises”. The event was held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute Auditorium in Colombo and was attended by high ranking public officials, deputy ministers, academics and invitees. Deputy Minister Wickramaratne was presented with the inaugural copy of the report.
The event was keynoted by Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, an advisor to Advocata and included speeches by Advocata COO Dhananath Fernando and Prof Razeen Sally. Prof Samarajiva offered potential ideas for the state enterprise reform and spoke about his experience as a regulator during what was hailed as the successful part-privatisation of Sri Lanka Telecom.
Prof Razeen Sally speaking about the importance of a think tank working on issues related to economic freedom said, that much needed to be done in Sri Lanka to stem the tide of reversing liberalisation that the country has experienced in recent years.
The event also featured a panel discussion that included the chief guest of the evening Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development, Eran Wickramaratne, Advocata fellow Ravi Ratnasabapathy, as well as Prof Rohan Samarajiva and Prof Razeen Sally.
The panel discussed reform ideas, including the holding company model after successes in the Singapore Temasek holdings. Several commentators in the panel discussed however the need for privatisation to be brought back into the public conscious as an ultimate solution. Deputy Minister insisted that the government is looking at reforms on an industry-by-industry and case-by-case basis.
Dhananath fernando, the chief operating officer of Advocata Institute said that Advocata hopes to be an independent voice advocating liberal economic ideas based on sound research.