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Pathfinder Director speaks on international political economy and Sri Lanka in Yibin, China


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 Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage with faculty and members of Yibin University
 

Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, the Director of Centres for Indo-Lanka Initiatives and Law of the Sea at Pathfinder Foundation delivered a lecture titled ‘International Political Economy: Case of Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific Strategy’ at Yibin University in Sichuan province, China. 

Admiral Colombage, who was invited by the Institute of South Asia and Southeast Asia Studies explained about the impact of regional political economy and geo-strategic competition on Sri Lanka’s economy. He further explained about Sri Lanka’s external debt situation and myths and realities associated with the figures. Admiral discussed the geo-economic importance of Sri Lanka located in the epicentre of the Indian Ocean in close proximity to the busiest east-west sea lanes of communication, which is currently a crucial gateway for global energy and trade. 

Availability of deep-water ports, which can handle mega container ships and the fact that port of Colombo was the fastest growing container port in 2018 were also highlighted. He stressed the impediments to economic progress of Sri Lanka due to strategic competition in the region, which is hampering FDI’s although there is a huge requirement to develop maritime related infrastructure.

Admiral Colombage also explained various strategies and initiatives designed by major residential and non-residential powers for the Indian Ocean. He emphasised the need to synergise these strategies and collaborative efforts in development initiatives for the common prosperity of the Indian Ocean. He warned that unless we find synergy, these strategies could lead to competition and even violent conflict. 

Founded in 2001, Yibin University is a higher education institution located in the small city of Yibin, the first city along the great Yangtze River in Sichuan province in China. Yibin University is a coeducational higher education institution and offers courses and programs leading to officially recognised higher education degrees in several areas of study. This university was authorised by the Ministry of Education of China in 2001 as a comprehensive university under the direct administration of Sichuan province. 

Ever since its founding the university has been honoured with a lot of titles, such as the Unit of National Civilisation, the Model School of the National Language and Literal Work, Advanced Unit of the Nation-wide Mass Sports, the Top 400 of The National Forestations as well as the Advanced Unit of the Nation-wide Moral Civilisation, etc. Yibin University has established cooperative relationships with a number of universities in USA, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Canada and Korea.  In 2019, Yibin University established the Institute of South Asia and Southeast Asia Studies to focus attention of these two important regions in geopolitical and geo-economic terms. Prof. Wang Ling is the president of the university and Senior Prof. Dai Yunghong is a director of academic committee of this new institute


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