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Keynote speakers

Our conference aims to explore the many pathways that enable emerging countries to transform knowledge into action to achieve economic and sustainable development. You will hear from the following notable keynote speakers.

Professor Prema-chandra Athukorala

Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian national University, Australia

Prema-chandra Athukorala is the Professor of Economics at Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University, Australia. He is also Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, UK and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Athukorala’s interests lie primarily in the fields of development macroeconomics, and international trade. His publications include 10 books, 7 edited volumes, and 117 papers in scholarly journals, 80 chapters in multi-author volumes, and numerous policy papers, book reviews and consultancy reports.

Professor Athukorala is on the Editorial Panel of Asian-Pacific Literature, is the Assistant Editor of Asian Economic Papers and a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel of Asian Development Review. He has served, at various times, as a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute, International Labour Organisation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, World Trade Organization, United Nations International Trade Centre, and the Australian Agency for International Development. These assignments have resulted in work on Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mr Asoka Hettigoda

Mr Asoka Hettigoda is the Managing Director of Hettigoda Group of Companies, Sri Lanka. He completed his undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence and Business Management in 1990 at Northwestern University in USA. Mr Hettigoda then proceeded to work for Price Waterhouse in Chicago, USA in their Management Consulting Services Division from 1990-1995 where he had the opportunity to participate in various Consulting Projects in industries such as Insurance, Petroleum, Oil, Gas and Pharmaceuticals (Amoco, British Petroleum Ltd. Inc., Baxter Health Care.)

Since 1995, Mr Hettigoda has been attached to the Hettigoda Group of Companies in the capacity of Managing Director. The Hettigoda Group of Companies is an ISO 9001, ISO 14000, ISO 22000, HACCP, GMP Certified Company. It is involved in the manufacture, distribution and export of Ayurveda Products, the provision of Health Care Services through a complete Ayurveda hospital for locals, as well as for foreigners in Sri Lanka, and also carrying on the business of a 4 star Tourist Hotel with Ayurveda Spa facilities, which is mainly patronized by up-market tourists from Europe. Siddhalepa, the flagship brand of the Hettigoa Group of Companies has expanded its Ayurveda SPA Services to Europe in 2004 and have now set up SPAs in Frankfurt, Berlin and Bad Schandau in Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2005, the company expanded their activities to Germany and setup a German Company, ‘Siddhalepa Gmbh’, to promote Ayurvedic products and services in Western Europe. Later, in 2007, Hettigoda Group of Companies started a Czech Company, ‘Siddhalepa SRO’, to promote Siddhalepa products and services to Eastern Europe. Hettigoda Distributors (India) was set up in 2008 to promote Siddhalepa products in the Indian market. To promote the medical tourism segment in Sri Lanka, Anarva Mount Lavinia was opened in August 2017. Anarva consists of 100 rooms with all Ayurveda medical facilities to cater to long-term medical needs of discerning travelers who prefer to take Ayurveda treatment.

Mr Hettigoda has received a number of accolades for his distinguished career. These include the ‘Ayurveda Ratna’ awarded in November 2019 by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) - Indian Traditional Sciences, Houses of Parliament, UK for the exceptional service of the highest order for the furtherance of Ayurveda, the ‘Award of Recognition and Honour’ awarded in November 2019 by Lord Suri, Houses of Parliament, UK for dedicated global services to Ayurveda over six generations and the ‘LMD 2018 A-LIST – Top 50 Sri Lanka Business People’ Award recognizing the Sri Lanka’s top 50 business leaders who continue to drive its engine of growth.