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Pathfinder Participates in first BIMSTEC Track 1.5 Security Dialogue Forum


Last Updated on Monday, 02 October 2017 05:31

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A political approach vital towards development of Trinco port, Bay of Bengal, says EP Governor





Global geopolitical powers should attempt to be apolitical when developing the Trincomalee port and the area around the Bay of Bengal, in order to ensure maritime security for all stakeholders, the Eastern Province Governor advocated last week. “We cannot divest politics from maritime issues, but I urge the stakeholders to be apolitical,” Austin  Fernando said. Speaking at the first Trincomalee Consultations organised by the Pathfinder Foundation and Carnagie India, he said that the stakeholders should cooperate to ensure internal and external biases and threats in the region are managed through information sharing, joint operations and cooperation with non-governmental organisations. He added that the development of the region could be blurred if economic and security issues are not addressed, noting how even with infrastructure development in Trincomalee’s rival Hambantota, investment attraction has been slow. Fernando noted that Indian investments in the oil tank farms would bring visible changes to Trincomalee, while the port and airport developments in the city would ensure smooth logistical interconnectivity between Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmmar. Delegations from South Asian nations, as well as from Japan were in attendance at the meeting, with an absence of a delegation from China, which is increasingly getting involved with the economy of Sri Lanka and the region. Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has repeatedly said that China should be considered part of South Asia as well, given that it shares borders with many South Asian nations and has contributed towards the development of the region. The Indian and Japanese delegates in attendance at the Trincomalee Consultations tried to downplay any possible Chinese involvement in the Bay of Bengal. “The primary responsibility for peace, security and prosperity in the region must rest with those who are residents in the region,” Indian External Affairs Ministry Policy Planning Joint Secretary Santosh Jha said. However, he noted that support from likeminded partners such as the US and Japan would be encouraging. “Sitting here in Sri Lanka, just north of major crossroads of global maritime trade, we have to agree that these waters remain relevant not just to countries resident in the region, but others too who may be dependent on peace on these waters for trade and transit,” he added. Perhaps due to such requirements, China has launched an ambitious plan to construct a string of ports and industrial zones, which would be under Chinese influence, between Middle East and mainland China. Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department Deputy Director General Noriyuki Shikata too pushed for an Asia Pacific agenda led by Japan and the US, by noting the renewed ties between the two allies following a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe last week. “I’m certain that Prime Minister Abe and President Trump would be interested in working with us all for ensuring peace and prosperity of the Bay of Bengal,” he said, after denouncing attempts of certain actors to “intimidate, coerce or force” resource ownership and militarize real estate in the Asia Pacific region. Sri Lanka has allocated the Hambantota port, which is located closest to the international shipping highways, to China, while Trincomalee has been entrusted to Japan and India, with a master plan currently being formulated by Singapore’s Subarna Jurong. However, Indian media reports recently said that the Indian government is not interested in Sri Lanka’s gift of Trincomalee as a balancing act. The current government, which came into power with a notion of depending on wide scale economic support from India and the Western World, has now turned towards China, which is using its authoritarian government to realize investments in Sri Lanka. Carnegie India Director Dr. Raja Mohan said that observers should not be surprised of the geopolitics currently unfolding in Sri Lanka and the Bay of Bengal, since the same stakeholders had been active in the region during World War II, while the Maritime Silk Road had drawn colonial powers to the region in the early modern era.  

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 July 2017 08:41

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Yunnan University (RIIO) and Pathfinder Collaborate: Studies in Investment Environment, Maritime Silk Road and Chinese Business Practices.

At the invitation of the Research Institute for Indian Ocean Economies (RIIO) of Yunnan University of Finance and Economic (YUFE) the Executive Director, Mr. Luxman Siriwardena of Pathfinder Foundation recently participated in the Sixth RIIO International Conference on Common Development between China and Indian Ocean Economies. The presentation of Mr. Siriwardena, at the Second Session was tilted as, “South Asia focused on Dilemmas of Small States in the Indian Ocean: Economic Development, Strategic and Security Dynamics”. The participants at the conference included academia from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and U.S.A.




At the end of the conference Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Pathfinder Foundation and RIIO was signed at the same venue. Under the MoU both parties have agreed to cooperate in three key areas: (I) Policy analysis and review of Maritime Silk Road , India Ocean strategic issues, China- South Asia and China- Sri Lanka relations through research and other knowledge-based processes, such as socio-economic trend analysis. (II) Strengthening the areas of cooperation, including studies on, investment environment in Indian Ocean economies in general and Sri Lanka in particular, Chinese business ethics and practices and its impact on local enterprises and other such economic issues of bilateral or multilateral implications for China and Sri Lanka. (III) To conduct joint studies on Indian Ocean economies, their foreign policy and economic relations so as to better reflect and incorporate Sri Lankan and Chinese perspectives and priorities in an international policy setting.

As a follow up to the signing of the the MoU, Mr. Siriwardena held discussions with the YUFE and RIIO on possible collaborative arrangement with a prospective Sri Lankan university and other academic institutes. In the discussions it was decided to explore the feasibility of introducing a study programme on Chinese economy, business and business ethics with Chinese language. Both sides agreed to continue the dialogue and identify potential third party partners where needed.


Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2016 08:41

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Pathfinder Foundation Joins Hands with the Fujian Province Promoting Trade and Investment


The Pathfinder Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Commerce, Fujian Province of the People’s Republic of China on 22nd November. The MoU seeks to strengthen cooperation in the fields of trade, investment and economic relations between the Province and Sri Lanka. The MoU was signed by Dr. Sun Jun, Division of Asian Affairs of the Department of Commence of Fujian Province and Pathfinder Foundation Chairman Bernard Goonetilleke.

Fujian Province has been in the forefront in Chinese economy attracting $7.6 billion foreign investment in 2015, which has contributed to a high GDP growth of $26,000 per annum for its 38.3 million population. Fujian Province, which has a considerable economic interest in Southeast Asia, is now focusing on developing economic relations with countries in South Asia. The Fujian Province is focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative of President Xi Jinping to which Sri Lanka has given its fullest support from the very inception.

Fujian a highly industrialized Province in China with many foreign firms such as Boeing, Dell, GE, etc having their operations in the Province. Many ethnic Chinese around the world, especially Southeast Asia, trace their ancestry to Fujian. Descendants of Fujian emigrants make up the predominant majority ethnic Chinese populations of the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Fujian, especially Fuzhou, is also the major source of Chinese immigrants in the United States.


DSCF3541 - Copy CopyDuring the discussion, with the four-member delegation, the Pathfinder Foundation expressed its willingness to promote trade and investment from Fujian to Sri Lanka and establish a Fujian Province Trade and Investment Promotion Centre in collaboration with the the Pathfinder Foundation. In this regard both parties agreed to conduct further studies and continue discussions to achieve the objectives outlined in the MoU, the first such an understanding to be reached by the Pathfinder Foundation with a State institution in China.                       


Last Updated on Friday, 25 November 2016 08:23

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Follow Asian Example To BOOST Economic Growth


Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 06:28

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Be Component Exporter To India


Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 06:28

Hits: 1791

Intergrating Sri Lankan Industries to Indian Supply Chains


Last Updated on Thursday, 06 December 2012 06:08

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Understanding electricity sector reform


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 November 2012 06:15

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Sri Lanka's "people dynasty" Help or harm for growth


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 November 2012 05:14

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Pathfinder Beyond The Box A New Economic Vision for Post Covid 19-SL-1



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