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The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies hosted a Foreign Policy Round Table titled ‘Key Foreign Policy Challenges in 2019: Preparing for a Post-American World Order’ on 17 December 2018. This round table supported by The Asia Foundation featured Dr. Razeen Sally, Visiting Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore; Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, Senior Fellow at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS); and Mr. Simon Bell, previously a director on A. T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, and an international investor and consultant.
In his presentation, Dr. Sally spoke about the global economic and global trade outlook for 2019, particularly focusing on the new era of protectionism. He emphasised that this protectionist wave could adversely affect the global supply chains, and result in the decline of global economic and trade growth rates.
Mr. Bell focused on the unilateral de-liberalisation that began in the US and the rise of populism. He highlighted that, within this global landscape, the only choice for smaller states, like Sri Lanka, is to become more open in order to compete with larger states.
Mr. Jayathilaka explored the transitions in America’s global influence and the Asian security order. He also highlighted a new multilateralism centred on competitive interdependence that could be generated by strengthening commonalities among global and regional powers.
The subsequent discussion, moderated by Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, LKI, focused on the economic opportunities and policy reforms for Sri Lanka within this context.
Participants include Mrs. Pamela J. Deen, Director of Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI), representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sri Lanka, and members of international and national organisations and the private sector.