Business and Professional Women to promote economic development via confab

Tuesday, 6 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam To increase the involvement of women in all spheres of growth in the country, a comprehensive conference to showcase opportunities prevailing in the economy will be held in Colombo this week. Organised by the Business and Professional Women Sri Lanka (BPWSL), a non-governmental organisation established in 1993, the conference will take place at The Kingsbury on 10 August 2013 under the theme ‘Business investment, joint venture partnerships, economic development and eco-tourism’. “We need the Government, the private sector, civil society and NGOs to work together for the economy to grow which in turn will improve quality of life. It is essential for these institutions to work together and ensure that women are acknowledged for their efforts and are given due recognition for their abilities,” said BPWSL Founder/President Janaki Gunawardena to the Daily FT. She added that to build a ‘new’ Sri Lanka, the nation should start by changing its perception, values and ways of doing business. “The public and private sector should start operating with responsibility and should genuinely work towards the future of the country, which should be free from corruption as a whole,” Gunawardena noted. The event will feature Ministry of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa as Chief Guest whilst the keynote address will be delivered by Freda Miriklis, President of International Federation of Business and Professional Women, to which BPWSL is affiliated to. The conference will also feature eminent speakers from the Sri Lanka Tea Board, Board of Investment (BOI), Export Development Board (EDB), Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), Ministry of Defence and Urban Development and Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage, who will address topics such as opportunities and development in the North and East, eco-tourism, pollution, importance of water, and power women. Hosting for the first time an international conference on this subject, BPWSL explained that its objective is to increase the nation’s growth with substantial contribution from women. Expecting an audience of 150, of which 50 will be international participants representing BPWSL in their respected countries, Gunawardena added that the institution proposes to join hands with those around the world who want to bring about change. BPWSL stated that it welcomes those already actively engaged in areas subject to ‘change’ such as peace councils involved in eradication of war, fighting for freedom from abuse and discrimination and those involved in the elimination of poverty and deprivation. BPWSL is an NGO affiliated to the International Federation of Business and Professional Women. It has been functioning in the country for the past 20 years where it has been working towards the enhancement and betterment of women in Sri Lanka.