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|Commonwealth Business Forum 2013 opens in Sri Lanka|
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), being held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo.
The CBF 2013, themed "Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development; The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and SAARC," will be held from November 12-14, 2013, with the participation of Heads of Government and several international business leaders.
Delivering the inaugural speech, President Rajapaksa said there is a significant wealth disparity within the Commonwealth nations, and therefore, the selection of the Forum theme, namely, "Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development" is undoubtedly relevant and timely.
The President pointed out that whenever global tensions escalate among the wealthy and advanced nations due to political and economic disagreements or disputes, those who suffer most are the developing and emerging nations.
Therefore, advanced nations need to be sensitive to the issues of the lesser developed nations and must be honestly supportive of promoting trade with emerging nations to establish genuine and credible partnerships for wealth creation, he remarked.
He said Sri Lanka could be cited as a classic example of a country that has relied upon a sustainable model of wealth creation, through the collective efforts of its many and varied stakeholders, together with a sustained approach towards social and human development.
"Any analyst, who cares to make a case study of Sri Lankan development, would be able to see clear signs of this pragmatic approach, which has led to the positive results in our country," the President said.
Explaining that wealth creation is not merely the creation of tangible, physical wealth and financial assets, the President said the wealth creation is also the sustainable and continuous improvement, of human and natural capital, as well.
"Therefore, it is vital that all of us, as one cohesive body, adopt a collaborative approach to find ways and means in our own economies, to link wealth creation with social and human development, at all times," he noted.
Director General of the Commonwealth Business Council Peter Callaghan, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Business Council Dr. Mohan Kaul, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera and Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris.