Colombo will be the centrepiece of a rejuvenated Sri Lanka: Secretary Defence

Saturday, 7 June 2014 00:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Rajapaksa attending as a Keynote Speaker at World Cities Summit 2014 spells out Urban Development initiatives
As keynote speaker at the prestigious World Cities Summit 2014 in Singapore, Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that with the dawn of peace in 2009, the country had an opportunity to regain opportunities that were lost during the three-decade long terrorist conflict, and in doing so the commercial capital of Colombo needed to play a significant role in facilitating this economic resurgence. The city had to be transformed into a more efficient business hub and a more attractive gateway for investment he added. Singapore hosted the 4th World Cities Summit (WCS), the 6th Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and the 2nd CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS). The three events were held from 1 to 5 June at the Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore. Organised by Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities and Urban Redevelopment Authority, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, National Water Agency and the National Environment Agency aimed to bring together policy makers, industry leaders, experts, regulators and practitioners to identify, showcase and exchange innovative solutions and technologies to address key challenges and opportunities in present day urban, water and environmental issues. These three global platforms attracted a high-level international participation from the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South American regions. Rajapaksa attended the WCS on the invitation of Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment & Water Resources of the Government of Singapore. He was among the exclusive high profile panel of distinguished leaders such as Minister of Water Resources of China Chen Lai, Minister of Environment of Denmark Kirsten Brosbol, Minister of Infrastructure and Environment of the Netherlands Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister of State for Cities and Constitution of the UK Greg Clark MP and Minister of Environment and Water of the United Arab Emirates Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, specially invited as opening plenary speakers. The Defence Ministry said the honour bestowed upon Rajapaksa in inviting him to be among a distinguished international panel of speakers at such an important world summit underlines the recognition and effort of Rajapaksa who is assiduously spearheading the urban redevelopment program and its apparent success in emerging post war Sri Lanka. Speaking at the summit themed ‘Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Common Challenges, Shared Solution’, Rajapaksa highlighted on aspects that were taken into consideration and challenges faced during the urban development program.