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About the event

Join us for an enlightening fireside chat with Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy on Sri Lanka’s Economic Road to Recovery in collaboration with RCS Sri Lanka. Dr. Coomaraswamy will provide crucial insights into Sri Lanka’s current economic standing and potential paths to recovery, drawing on his extensive experience as a former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is currently emerging from its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The country defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time in May 2022 after running out of foreign reserves. The currency has been devalued by over 80% since March 2022. Inflation hit a record high of nearly 70% in August 2022, leading to severe shortages of essentials like fuel, medicine and food.

Per the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s recent January 2024 report, Sri Lanka’s economy staged a gradual recovery with 6.2% growth in 2023. Inflation reduced to 15.9% by end-2023 from over 60% in mid-2022 due to tight monetary policy and fiscal consolidation.

In this timely fireside chat, Dr. Coomaraswamy will analyze the current economic landscape and discuss pragmatic solutions to stabilize Sri Lanka’s finances, attract investment, and put the country firmly on the path to revival. Opportunities exist to capitalize on Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic position, educated workforce, and resilience of the Sri Lankan people.

With a unique perspective on Sri Lanka’s policy responses and road ahead, Dr. Coomaraswamy’s insights will be invaluable for anyone interested in the country’s economic trajectory. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain context on Sri Lanka’s crisis and the way forward from a top expert.


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Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy

Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy is a Sri Lankan economist who served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka from 2016 to 2019. He has over 30 years of experience in policymaking, economic research, and corporate management. Dr Coomaraswamy has a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex and has authored multiple research publications on development economics.

He started his career at the Central Bank in 1979 and has since held senior positions at various global organizations including the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Institute of Policy Studies.

From 2008 to 2012, he was the Director of Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat. In 2013, he was appointed as a non-cabinet Minister of Economic Development in the Sri Lankan government. He took office as the 14th Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in July 2016 at a time of economic challenges.

As Governor, he focused on stabilizing the economy, reducing inflation, rebuilding reserves, and implementing structural reforms. After completing his 3-year term, he stepped down in 2019. Currently, he serves on several boards and economic advisory councils in Sri Lanka.

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Ifthikhar Aziz

Sri Lanka was a Founding member of the Commonwealth of Nations together with the United Kingdom which led to the creation of the RCS Sri Lanka Branch 75 years ago. “We have been a very active and a ‘hands on’ closely knit society passionately promoting the Commonwealth’s noble objectives in the past said Ifthikhar Aziz,the current President of the RCS Sri Lanka Branch.

Unfortunately, circumstances that prevailed from around 2019 onwards took a nose dive due to various inimical factors such as the the severe economic crisis that hit us all very badly, covid, political unrest and agitations and various other factors said Aziz. Ifthikhar Aziz was elected as President in September 2023 and quite a lot of progress has been made in reviving and re-invigorating the RCS Sri Lanka Branch. We see an energetic and passionately committed Management Council re- emerging once again and a membership that’s showing signs of growth. Aziz is working tirelessly to ensure that the RCS Sri Lanka is back on track to gain its rightfully deserved position in the RCS community as many have told us and seen by us as well.

Ifthikhar Aziz is well known in the Sri Lankan Civil and Social circles and society at large for his unwavering commitment to do his very best in achieving the optimum results in whatever positions he has held in the past and even now as the President of this re-emerging ‘ tiger’ amongst 56 Commonwealth Nations, together with his equally active Management Council and the General membership.


Julia Charlton

Chairman, Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce

Julia is the founding and managing partner of Charltons, an award winning Hong Kong corporate finance Hong Kong law firm. Julia is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong, England and Wales and the BVI. She practises in the field of corporate finance, including M&A, private equity, securities, virtual assets and funds.

Julia is a member of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council (CWEIC)’s Global Advisory Council. She is also a member of several Hong Kong boards and committees, most notably The Takeovers and Mergers Panel and the Takeovers Appeals Committee of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the Listing Review Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Julia is also a Senior Fellow of the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute.