Countries / Territories

WEDF 2016 - Speakers and Moderators

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar has a wide range of experience in leading government and development policy. Early in her career, she conducted award winning work restructuring the monetary policy framework as Governor of Central Bank of Pakistan. During the Arab Spring, she spearheaded the development and implementation of the Arab Regional Integration Strategy as VP for the Middle East and North Africa Region for World Bank. She provided analytical support on social and economic areas during the Asian financial crisis as President of Asian Development Bank. Dr. Akhtar was UN Secretary-General's Senior Advisor on Economics and Finance, and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In 2013, she was appointed as UNESCAP Executive Secretary in Thailand.

Ms. Rizhlan El Alaoui
Executive Director & Founder

Ms. El Alaoui is the Executive Director of QuickTech, Morocco and founder of the green B2B networking start-up EasyShair. Previous to joining QuickTech in 2014, she worked as business development manager in FAOU Group in Casablanca and worked several years on projects within strategic marketing and business development in various companies. She has a great interest in corporate social responsibility, which drove her to establish the UMEC Association that organized the first green conference in Morocco in the framework of COP22. She holds a degree in Computer Science from SUPINFO International University in Paris and an MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales. Her achievements include the Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016 by HUB AFRICA, for EasyShair, which she founded in 2014.


Mr. Mahesh Dayalal Amalean
MAS Holdings

Mr. Amalean is the chairman of MAS Holdings. He was previously chairman of SLINTEC (the National Nano technology initiative of Sri Lanka) Independent, non-executive director of Dialog Axiata PLC, advisory board member of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) and executive committee member of the Joint Apparel Association Forum.  In 2007, the World Business magazine ranked Mr. Amalean as one the top 20 most progressive Asian leaders. In 2013 he received the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality’s   Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Award for MAS Women Go Beyond, a distinctive programme established in 2003 that challenges the accepted norms of garment industry employment for women in Sri Lanka and the South Asia region.

Dr. Stefano Arganese
CEO, Central Eastern Southern Europe and Americas, Middle East, Africa
DHL Freight (CESE & AMEA)

Dr. Stefano Arganese is the CEO of DHL Freight for Central Eastern Southern Europe (CESE) and Americas, Middle East and Africa (AMEA). Stefano began his career with Danzas in Italy and Switzerland before joining DHL Express in 2002 as Project Manager and Freight Integration Director in Switzerland. He has since been in various positions within DHL before assuming his current role as CEO for CESE & AMEA in 2012. Stefano has a degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Logistics from the Polytechnic University of Milan and a Master of Business Administration from SDA Bocconi Business School in Milan.

Prof. Wolfgang Arlt
China Outbound Tourism Research Institute

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS is the director of China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), an independent research institute for research, consulting and quality assessment relating to the Chinese Outbound Tourism market.

He teaches International Tourism Management at West Coast University of Applied Sciences Germany in Heide, German, and is a visiting professor at universities in China, England and New Zealand. Professor Arlt is Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (London) and of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (Tokyo).

He has published several books and periodicals on China’s outbound tourism, and has a blog on Chinese tourism at Forbes.com.  

Ms. Sally Buberman
Wormhole IT

Sally Buberman is one of the cofounders and CEO of Wormhole, a company that helps enterprises, governments and institutions to create, manage and develop their online training programs while retaining the quality of in person education and training. Sally works on defining company strategy and coordinating between areas to ensure the fulfillment of business objectives and regional growth. Before Wormhole, Sally worked on engineering projects under development and marketing in large multinational companies in Argentina and abroad. Sally frequently speaks at universities and industry events, sharing her critical perspective as a young female entrepreneur in the technology field. She also participates as a mentor and international judge in competitions and incubators such as the Start-up Chile, TIC Americas of the OAS or Microsoft Imagine Cup. Recently, Sally was among a handful of women awarded "Iconic Innovative Women Leaders of the Decade" by the Women Economic Forum, for her achievements in business and innovation with a strong emphasis on education.

Mr. Kurt Cavano
GT Nexus

Kurt Cavano is the founder and President of GT Nexus, which is acquired by Infor in 2015. Mr. Cavano was originally the founder and CEO of TradeCard, Inc, rebranded in 2013 as GT Nexus. Former Vice President of American Management Systems, he worked as well at the AMS Financial Group on Corporate Banking Practice. He held several leading positions at American Apparel, Footwear Association and the American Apparel Producers Network, as well as Neptune Township Economic Corporation.

Mr. Cavano is graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Bioscience and he holds an MBA from New-York University. As he has over 30 years of experience helping firms to improve their businesses, he was named in top 50 most influential people by World Trade Magazine.

Mr. Hiran Cooray

Carrying on the legacy of his father, the late Herbert Cooray, Mr. Cooray is the current Chairman of Jetwing - a family owned company which counts a storied history of over four decades. Mr. Cooray was the chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association Sri Lanka Chapter  between 2003- 2004), represented Sri Lanka on PATA’s Board of Directors (2010/12), President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (2005/8); and was recently appointed an Alternate Member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics 2013-2017.  Mr. Cooray is currently serving his  second term as President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka.

Mr. David Cordobés
Manager, Youth and Trade Programme
International Trade Centre

Mr. Cordobés has been managing technical cooperation projects within ITC’s Division of Market Development. He is also responsible for ITC’s Youth and Trade programme aiming at developing youth entrepreneurship in developing and least developed countries. Before joining ITC, he served five years as business unit manager in a space and aeronautics engineering and high-tech consulting firm in Mexico City and Toulouse.

Mr. Malik Fernando
Dilmah Tea

Malik Fernando is the Director of MJF Group, Dilmah Tea. He has a Bachelor's degree in Management from Babson College, Boston. Dilmah tea, a family-run company founded by his father Merrill J. Fernando, is now co-directed with his brother Dilhen C. Fernando. The company is a global leader in tea and well-known for its innovative approach of 'adding value' to tea whilst maintaining authenticity.

He set up a company, RTesplendent Ceylon which develops and manages a series of boutique luxury resorts in Sri Lanka including Ceylon Tea Trailsand the country's first Relais & Châteaux and Cape Weligama, a luxury cliffside retreat, which received several awards such as Best New Hotels On The Planet by Tatler Travel Guide 2015.

Ms. Arancha González
Executive Director
International Trade Centre

Ms. González serves as Executive Director of the ITC since September 2013. Before joining ITC, she was Chief of Staff to World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy from 2005 to 2013. During this period, she played an active role in launching the WTO’s Aid for Trade initiative, and served as Mr. Lamy’s representative at the G-20. Prior to this, Ms. González held several positions at the European Commission, negotiating trade agreements and assisting developing countries in trade-development efforts. Between 2002 and 2004, she was the European Commission Spokeswoman for Trade and adviser to the EU Trade Commissioner. She began her career in the private sector advising companies on trade, competition and state-aid matters.

Ms. Donia Hammami
Head of Customs and Trade Facilitation Policy
International Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Hammami leads all ICC policy work in the field of Customs and Trade Facilitation at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – the world business organization. Donia is the Vice-Chair of the World Customs Organization’s Private Sector Consultative Group as well as at the ICC representative at the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade. Moreover, she is the Vice-President of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation that brings together ICC, the World Economic Forum, the Center for International Private Enterprise and the governments of Germany, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Unites States, to provide a unique public-private platform in support of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Before joining ICC, Donia held several positions at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Dulith Herath
CEO & Founder

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce organization, Mr. Herath is an entrepreneur and web technology specialist. He has fused innovation with new technology based business models in Sri Lanka. Mr. Herath also advocates for the improvement of government policies on tech startups and intellectual properties. He holds a B.Sc in computer science from the University of Kentucky, USA. His achievements include the Young Entrepreneur award of the 2013 by Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards and a gold award for National business excellence award by the Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka

Mr. Gao Hongbing
Vice President and Director
Alibaba Group & AliResearch

Mr. Gao Hongbing is the Vice President and Director of Alibaba Group and AliResearch. He is also a Professor at Zhejiang Provincial Party School and China Executive Leadership Academy, as well as a council member for the Center of Information Study. Before working for Alibaba, Hongbing was CEO of an internet consulting company. During his time as CEO, he was also a member of strategic and policy councils for Hauwei, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba among other companies. He has been involved in drafting several internet regulations and policies, as well as informatisation development strategies for the government.

Ms. Marion Jansen
Chief Economist
International Trade Centre

Marion is the Chief Economist of ITC and in this position responsible for the recently published ITC flagship publication “SME Competitiveness Outlook 2015”. Previous to joining ITC, Marion was a counsellor in the Economic Research and Statistics Division of the World Trade Organization, an organization she joined in 1999 after a short spell in the private sector. From 2009 to 2012 she was the Head of Trade and Employment Programme at the ILO.

She has published widely on subjects related to international trade and global governance is currently editing a volume on the “Economics of Trade Disputes and Investor-State Disputes” together with Joost Pauwelyn from the Graduate institute in Geneva.

Mr. Upul Jayasuriya
Board of Investment of Sri Lanka

Mr. Jayasuriya is the chairman of the board of investment of Sri Lanka. Prior to this, he was a member of the Attorney Generals’ department as a State counsel, the first legal advisor of the Greater Colombo Economic Commission and chairman of the Sri Lanka State Trading Tractor Corporation. Other previous roles include being appointed managing director and CEO of Ceylon Chocolates Ltd. and being a member of the board of directors of Upali Investments Holdings Ltd. Mr. Jayasuriya also founded the Asian Finance Ltd., a company now engaged in finance and business.

Mr. Mangala Karunaratne
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Calcey Technologies

Mangala Karunaratne started his career in the Silicon Valley, where he held various Internet engineering and management roles at Fortune 1000 technology companies and dot-coms. In addition to Calcey, he founded eConceptions, RideLanka, OneClickTel, ShopMagik and a few other companies. Aside from his position as CEO of Calcey, Mangala serves as the co-chairman of FARO (Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunity); a non-profit organization, which actively assists rural youth in Sri Lanka to find sustainable employment in the outsourcing industry. He also sits on the board of directors of Karunaratne & Sons; one of the top five printing companies in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Saman Kelegama
Executive Director
Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

Dr. Saman Kelegama is the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy (IPS) Studies of Sri Lanka. He is also a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Economic Association.  From 1999-2003, he was President of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA). A prolific writer, Kelegama has written several books published extensively on Sri Lankan and regional economic issues in both local and international journals. He currently works as co-editor of the South Asia Economic Journal (Sage Publications) and is a reference? for a number of international journals. His wide range of experience has allowed him the opportunity to serve as a board member for a number of government and private sector boards.   Dr. Kelegama received his Doctorate (D.Phil.) and M.Sc in Economics from Oxford University, U.K.

Mr. Md Sabur Khan
Daffodil Group

A self-made businessman, Mr. Md. Sabur Khan started his business career as an IT businessman, in 1990 with Daffodil Computers Limited (DCL).  He proved himself as a serial entrepreneur and established more than 35 companies. He founded 17 education ventures, including Daffodil International University (DIU). He led Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) as president and is playing role as the Chairman, Global Trade Committee and Director of World IT & Services Alliances (WITSA). Mr. Khan has written & published several books on entrepreneurship. He has been Visiting Professor of some foreign universities. He established social welfare Institution naming ‘Daffodil Foundation’.

Ms. Rezwana Khan
Director and Chief Operating Officer
Star Computer Systems Ltd

Ms. Rezwana Khan is one of the directors and the Chief Operating Officer of Star Computer Systems Limited, a company specialized in web, e-business, e-governance, financial management system, and ICT consultancy services and training among others. She plays a crucial role in the company strategy, operations, business development, organizational design and technology. In parallel, she has been working as lead ICT expert in a capacity-development project for local governments funded by the Swiss cooperation office for the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development and the National Institute of Local Government. 

Mr. Pascal Khoo

Mr. Pascal Khoo is a Burmese author. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Cambridge University in 1995. In 2002 he published his autobiography “From the Land of Green Ghosts” which received the Kiriyama Prize. It narrates his life under Burmese military rule. After graduating from Cambridge, he worked for the Burma campaign, a non-profit organisation for several years in London. In 2008 he moved to Oslo to join the Democratic Voice of Burma, a multimedia new organization that focuses on Burma. After his work for the Democratic Voice of Burma, Pascal has moved back to Myanmar to work on sustainable and responsible tourism, as part of a national Tour Operator as well as consultant for tourism development in ethnic minority locations for the International Trade Centre.

Mr. Vikrom Kromadit
CEO & Founder
AMATA Corporation

Mr. Kromadit is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AMATA Corporation, a world’s leading industrial city developer. He is managing three ecofriendly industrial estates in Thailand and Vietnam: AMATA Nakorn, AMATA City and AMATA City Bien Hoa. As a Chairman of AMATA Foundation, Mr. Kromadit dedicates most of his time to educate people by writing books, based on his autobiography and working experience. From 15-years of writing, the books were translated to 8 languages and more than 6 million copies have been sold. In 2008, he was named one of the 48 Heroes of Philanthropy in Asia whilst the Foreign Direct Investment magazine of the Financial Times Group in London (fDi) gave him a reward of fDi Personality of the Year 2008 - Asia.     

Ms. Xin Liu
CCTV Europe

Xin Liu joined CCTV's English service upon graduation. When the English language  channel was created in 2001, she became the backbone and the longest-serving presenter. Her stye is one that is defined as gentle, unintrusive, professional but personal. In October 2010, she opted to go into the field to become chief of CCTV's Geneva Bureau.

Mr. Kolin Low
Regional manager
International Organization for Standardization

Kolin Low is the Regional Manager at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), based out of Singapore. His work with ISO’s regional engagement initiative in Asia Pacific includes capacity building and engagement with ISO members in the region and strengthening relationships with regional partners, so as to promote greater use of ISO international standards in the region. Prior to joining ISO, Mr Low represented SPRING Singapore in the APEC and ASEAN subcommittees related to standards and quality. Apart from Standardization, Mr Low has also accumulated over 5 years of experience in the other 2 core components of National Quality Infrastructure in Singapore, namely Accreditation and Metrology.

Ms. Zahra Maafiri
General Manager
Maroc Export

Since 2013, Zahra Maafari is the General Manager of Maroc Export, Moroccan Centre for Export Promotion. Originally a commissioner of audit, Ms. Maafiri has an extensive experience serving for the government for different positions; she was Counsellor at the Head of the Economic Section in the Embassy of Morocco in Berlin, Germany; Projects Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. She held several other positions in the Ministry of Foreign Trade including the Minister’s Chief of staff. She was then appointed as director of Trade Policy at the ministry of Foreign Trade in 2004.

Mr. Deodat Maharaj
Deputy Secretary-General, Economic and Social Development
Commonwealth Secretariat

Mr. Deodat Maharaj advises and reports to the Secretary-General on economic affairs, trade and debt, social development, and public sector governance. He also oversees the management of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation.  Mr. Maharaj was formerly Chief, Division for Afghanistan, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. During his career he has served as Chief of Staff in the UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Head of the Secretariat on the Ministerial Council for Social Development with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Deodat Maharaj advises and reports to the Secretary-General on economic affairs, trade and debt, social development, and public sector governance. He also oversees the management of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation.

Mr Maharaj was formerly Chief, Division for Afghanistan, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. During his career he has served as Chief of Staff in the UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Head of the Secretariat on the Ministerial Council for Social Development with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Ms. Indira Malwatte
Chairperson & Chief Executive
Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Ms. Malwatte serves as the Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board since October 2015, the first woman to hold this position. She has 40 years of experience in serving the Government both internationally and locally. She has served as the focal point on a number of World Bank, ITC, GIZ, CBI and JETRO export development projects. She has also served a number of Government and Private Sector Boards and undertaken a number of product development and export related consultancies. In July 2016, Ms. Malwatte was awarded “Lifetime Award for Business and Economics” by the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase.

Ms. Natasha Martin
Marketing Specialist

Natasha Martin is a senior consultant at Solimar International, a tourism development firm based in Washington, DC. Over the last decade, Natasha has worked with destinations, associations and tourism companies around the world, from Greenland to Namibia, to ensure the sectors development supports environmental conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and enhances the lives of local residents. In addition to consultancies, Natasha teaches courses in online marketing and branding for tourism at NYU School of Professional Studies. Natasha holds a Master of Tourism from The George Washington University.

Mr. Tony Nash
Chief Economist & Managing Partner
Complete Intelligence

Mr. Nash is the Chief Economist and Managing Partner at Complete Intelligence. As a global market leader and thought leader on economics, risk and industries, Tony is a frequent public speaker and a facilitator of strategic discussions with business and government leaders. He is a regular contributor to leading global media which include regular sessions on CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC World and Al Jazeera. He is also a key contributor to regional economic and industry forums and closed-door corporate executive dialogues. Previously, Tony built and led the global research and consulting business for The Economist (EIU). He has also been a social entrepreneur, media entrepreneur, writer and consultant.

Ms. Shinto Nugroho
Head of Public Policy and Governmental Relations
Google Indonesia

Ms. Nugroho is the Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for Google Indonesia. Her work focuses on improving the regulatory framework of trade and investment. Previous to joining Google in 2013, Ms. Nugroho worked for the World Bank Group. In 2010, she and other alumnae of Singapore International Fellowship, a scholarship by the Government of Singapore given to potential young leaders from ASEAN countries, founded the Indonesia Bright Foundation to provide affordable education for children in Indonesia. Ms. Nugroho holds a double degree in International Law and International Politics from University of Indonesia from Columbia Law School and London School of Economics, respectively. She represented one of the Asia Society’s ‘Asia 21 Young Leaders’ in 2013.

Mr. Brian Pallas
Chairman, CEO & Founder
Opportunity Network

Prior to founding Opportunity Network in January 2013, Mr. Pallas worked at the Boston Consulting Group, dealing with a variety of strategic and operational projects across different sectors. He also gained experience in private equity and investment banking by working for three different funds.

In 2014, Brian was nominated for the Wired Audi Innovation Award by Wired Italy as one of the most promising Under 35. Family Business Network International honoured him with the 2nd prize for the NxG (Next Generation) Award. In 2015, “Milano Finanza” included him among the 70 Italian managers leading global giants. “La Repubblica” listed him among the 20 young Italian innovators in their 20s.

Dr. Petra Pana
Deputy State Secretary of Foreign Economic Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dr. Petra Pana has been serving as Deputy State Secretary for Foreign Economic Relations of Hungary since November 1, 2014. As Deputy Secretary for Foreign Economic Relations, she is focused on expanding trade and developing FDI in Hungary. Since taking office, she works closely with the business community and helps advance the Government’s priorities of expanding growth and business opportunity for all Hungarian business partners and investors. Before her nomination as Deputy State Secretary for Foreign Economic Relations of Hungary, she held different positions in the public sector. 

Dr. D J Pandian
Vice President & Chief Investment Officer
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Dr. Pandian has been appointed Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) February 2016. His primary responsibility is leading the planning and supervision of the Bank’s infrastructure investment by promoting sustainable investment throughout Asia that is consistent with the Bank’s vision, goals, and strategies, and by ensuring the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of AIIB operations. He has had an extensive career spanning 30 years with the Indian Administrative Service, holding key positions at the state, national and international levels in the energy (oil and gas, power, renewable), infrastructure, finance, and industry sectors.

Mr. Michael Peel
Bangkok Regional Correspondent
The Financial Times

Mr. Peel is the Bangkok Regional Correspondent of the Financial Times since 2013. Subsequent to joining the Financial Times in 1997, Mr. Peel held several roles as correspondent in the UK and abroad. Between 2011 and 2013, he worked as Middle East Correspondent, based in Abu Dhabi, covering the extraordinary events across the regions. Prior to this role he served as the Financial Time’s West Africa Correspondent between 2011 and 2013, and Legal Correspondent between 2006 and 2011, a role that included covering financial crime. Mr. Peel’s first book, A Swamp Full of Dollars: pipelines and paramilitaries at Nigeria's oil frontier (2009), was shortlisted for The Guardian's first book award. He won a UK Foreign Press Association award in 2015.  

Mr. Gian Luca Petrelli
Founder & Executive Chairman

Mr. Petrelli is the Founder and Executive Chairman of BeMyEye, an innovative service for crowdsourcing store checks, data collection and mystery shopping based in Europe. The company connects some 200,000 private individuals through the smartphone app BeMyEye to perform micro-jobs in their neighbourhood, with businesses looking for location-specific information such as checking in-store promotions and prices, generating sales leads or gathering street level data for mapping enrichment. Mr. Petrelli graduated in Economics and then worked as a business developer for Motorola and as an entrepreneur in FMCG before founding BeMyEye.

Ms. Patricia Russ
Associate Programme Officer
International Trade Centre

Ms. Patricia Russ works for the International Trade Centre in Geneva, where she is assisting IT and BPO entrepreneurs and businesses in Bangladesh, Kenya and Uganda to grow their businesses and connect to international markets. Patricia is passionate about women empowerment, new technologies and entrepreneurship and believes in the power of digitization to empower individuals and fast-track the development of entire economies.

Hon. Malik Samarwickrama
Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade

Hon. Malik Samarawickrama is the Cabinet Minister for Development Strategies & International Trade,  Sri Lanka. As Cabinet Minister, he oversees The Board of Investment, the Export Development Board, the Department of Import & Export Control and the MahapolaTrust Fund in Sri Lanka. Minister Samarawickrama is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (FCMA) in London. As a   successful businessman, he has been involved and   interested in diverse sectors. He has seved as the Chairman/Director of a number of companies engaged in manufacture & exports of ready-made garments, Real Estate Development and Import/Export business in the 1980s; he played a prominent role in expanding Sri Lanka’s apparel sector as Deputy Chairman of the Apparel Exporters’ Association. The apparel sector currently constitutes the country’s leading source of export revenue.

Hon. Patricia Scotland
The Commonwealth Secretariat

The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland serves as Commonwealth Secretary-General since April 2016, the first woman to hold the post. Prior to this, she was appointed Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to South Africa in 2012 and Attorney General in 2007. She was also the first black woman to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1991 and she joined the House of Lords in 1997 as Baroness Scotland of Asthal.

Ms. Scotland was born in Dominica. She moved to the UK with her family when she was two years old and grew up in East London.

Mr. Mano Sekaram
CEO & Founder
99X Technology Ltd.

Mr. Sekaram is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of 99X Technology Ltd., an award-winning, software product engineering company specializing in delivering software services to European markets. He is currently the chairman of the IT/BPM sectors’ apex body, the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM). On top of this, Mr. Sekaram is serving as a board member of the School of Computing at the University of Colombo. Mr. Sekaram was recently appointed member at the University of Jaffna’s Council, contributing with contemporary leadership knowledge to the country’s sector of high-tier education. Finally, he has represented the Sri Lankan IT/BPO industry both nationally and globally.

Hon. Sujeewa Senasinghe
State Minister for International Trade
Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade

Mr. Senasinghe is a lawyer by trade. He is the current State Minister of International Trade, Sri Lanka, and prior to this he served as Deputy Minister of Justice. Hon. Minister Senasinghe has been a member of the Sri Lanka parliament since 2010 as a representative for Colombo district. More specifically, he is a member of one of the two financial committees; the committee on public accounts and a member of the committee on public petition.

Mr. Eben Sermon
Vice President, Greater Europe, Middle East and Africa

Mr. Sermon is the Vice President, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of eBay and his background today includes General Management and Marketing. Prior to joining eBay in 2007 Mr. Sermon worked at British Airways in a variety of operational and commercial roles. In recent years, Mr. Sermon has been a strong advocate of ‘Cross Border Trade’ initiatives for eBay with the aim of helping small and large businesses to use technology to export and to share their stories worldwide. In 2016, Mr. Sermon signed an agreement with ITC, on behalf of eBay, to help exporters in emerging markets to capture the global e-commerce opportunity. His achievements include Best e-Commerce Marketing Initiative Award by IMRG, for eBay’s Fashion Launch, in 2010.      

Ms. Lubna Shaban
Director of Entrepreneurship
Child Youth Finance International

Lubna Shaban was graduated from the University of Exeter with a Master’s degree in International Management major in entrepreneurship and innovation. As she built her own business at the age of 28, she has a personal experience about youth entrepreneurship. She worked as communication and advocacy manager before becoming the director of Entrepreneurship for YE! Community of Child and Youth Finance International. Having expertise on social, financial and entrepreneurship skills development for children and youth, she participated in many international conferences and publications. She has been organizing Global Money Week, an annual global event on raising awareness about youth entrepreneurship in over 80 countries.

Hon. Wang Shouwen
Vice Minister
Ministry of Commerce, China

Mr. Wang Shouwen is the Vice minister of Commerce of People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM formerly MOFTEC). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Hunan University, a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of International Business and Economics and a Doctoral degree in Economics from Peking University.

Starting his career by joining the Communist Party of China, he held multiple positions at different departments within MOFTEC including Deputy Director General of the Department of Foreign Trade Administration, and the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of Tibet Autonomous Region working on the Aid-Tibet Program .He became the Deputy Director General of foreign trade in 2006. Prior to become Vice minister in 2015, he worked as Assistant Minister of Commerce.

Mr. Jagdish Kumar Singla
Vice President

Jagdish Kumar Singla is the Director of Finance & Control at Nestlé Lanka PLC. A Chartered Accountant by trade, he joined Nestlé India Limited in 1990. From the very beginning of his career, he held important roles under Finance in Nestlé India’s flagship factory in Mogaand, before moving to Nestlé China in 1997. He later took on the responsibility of Business Controller for the Milks and Nutrition Business in the Greater China region, returning to India in 2004 as Moga Factory Controller. He was appointed Head of Nestlé Market Audit for Nestlé India Limited in 2008 before joining Nestlé Lanka in his current role in 2014.

H.E. Maithripala Sirisena
Government of Sri Lanka

H. E. Sirisena Maithripala is the sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka. His political career began in 1989 when he was elected to the parliament. Before his presidency, he was Minister of Mahaweli Development, Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health. He worked actively to protect the farming industry by initiating concessionary grants for farmers and converting the Paddy Marketing board into a government institution. In 2013, he received the WHO World No Tobacco Day and Harvard Ministerial Leadership in Health award for his policy to get pictorial warnings on cigarette packets in Sri Lanka. He was officially elected as President in August 2015. Since his appointment, Sirisena has worked to increase cooperation with China and has also proposed a right to Information Act.

Mr. Shreekant Somany
Chairman and Managing Director
Somany Ceramics Ltd

Mr Somany heads Somany Ceramics Ltd., one of the largest manufacturers of glazed ceramic tiles in India. Under his leadership the company became the first Indian ceramic tile company to have received patent under Indian Patent Act for its revolutionary “High Abrasion Resistant Glaze Composite” known as VC (Veilcraft) Shield.

Shreekant Somany is a recipient of the prestigious Corporate Technical Achievement award from the American Ceramic Society in the field of ceramics for development of Veil Craft Shield Floor Tiles.  He has been associated with various associations. Presently, he is member of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) national council and chairman of CII National SME Council.

Dr. Susan Stone
Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific

Dr. Stone serves as Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Previously, she was Senior Trade Policy Analyst in the Trade and Agricultural Directorate of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Prior to joining the OECD, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Development Bank Institute. Before that, she was Research Manager at the Australian Productivity Commission. Dr. Stone holds a PhD in Economics. Her main research activities have centered on trade and its interaction with various economic outcomes. Her work has been published in national and international government reports as well as peer-reviewed journals.

Hon. Péter Szijjártó
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Hon. Szijjártó was appointed the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2014 and serves as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Previous to this position, Mr. Szijjártó served as spokesman of the Prime Minister and later as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations of the Prime Minister’s Office. In 2013, he was appointed as Government Commissioner for Hungarian-Russian Relations and Hungarian Chinese Bilateral Relations. Mr. Szijjártó holds a degree in International Relations from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration.       

Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic
UNWTO Representative in Geneva
United Nations World Tourism Organization

Zoritsa Urosevic is the representative of United Nations World Tourism Organiation  in Geneva. She started her career in France as Export Director for a group called Société Générale - SOGEXPORT in Paris, after completing a degree in Psychology and Business Management studies from Strasbourg. From 1993 to 2004, she worked for the Seychelles’ Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Tourism and Transport. Her experience there as Director of International Cooperation made her well-versed with issues pertaining to both developed and developing countries. Additionally, an ability to think innovatively has allowed her to respond quickly and creatively to global challenges, developing sustainable policies and strategies at the regional, national and corporate level. Since her appointment at UNWTO in 2006, she has been advocating strongly for tourism to be included in the 2030 Global Agenda.

Mr. Matanda Wabuyele
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Mr. Wabuyele is the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Prior to his current title, he worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Export Promotion Council, a Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) based in Kenya. Mr. Wabuyele has over 35 years of professional experience with proven track record of achievement in transformational leadership, strategic management, corporate governance, trade and investment and management consulting. He has significant experience with board governance and served as Commissioner General for Kenya on three World Exhibitions organizing committees in Japan, Spain and China. Mr. Wabuyele was honoured with a Presidential Award of the Order of the Grand Warrior by his Excellence the President of Kenya, for Excellent Performance in Export Development and Promotion.

Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe
Prime Minister
Government of Sri Lanka

Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time on 21st August 2015. He is the Leader of the United National Party (UNP), Sri Lanka’s largest political party, which is a constituent member of the National Unity Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena. Hon. Wickremesinghe was first appointed the Prime Minister from 1993 – 1994 after the assassination of President Ranasinghe Premadasa. He was also elected as the Prime Minister from 2001 – 2004 when the United National Front Government won the general elections 2001. 

Mr. Paddy Withana
Acting Director
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

Mr. Paddy Withana has been appointed acting chairman of both the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. Mr. Withana has over 40 year-experience in the travel industry.

Mr. Joseph Wozniak
Head of the Trade for Sustainable Development
International Trade Centre

Jo Wozniak has over 15 years experience in international trade and development.  He is the Manager of the Trade for Sustainable Development programme at the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to arriving at the ITC, Joe spent seven years as a Senior Economist with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in Washington, D.C. He has significant field experience in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Jo received his Master Degree in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

Ms. Ursula Wynhoven
Chief, Social Sustainability, Governance and Legal
United Nations Global Compact

Ms. Wynhoven is the Chief, Social Sustainability, Governance and Legal for the UN Global Compact and member of the office’s Executive Committee. The area Ms. Wynhoven leads includes all the UN Global Compact’s social sustainability and governance platforms, including human rights, gender equality, peace and the rule of law. She has played an active part in helping the initiative to grow above 13.000 signatures in more than 170 countries. Prior to joining the UN in 2002, Ms. Wynhoven worked in law firms and government human rights agencies in Australia and the US. Furthermore, she has experience from working for the OECD’s CSR initiative in Paris. She holds a Master’s degree in Law from Columbia Law School.