Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said today’s imperative need is for innovative, out-of-box solutions in engineering and technological sectors. Opening the techno2023, Industrial and Technological Exhibition at BMICH today (October 20), he said engineers and technocrats should not confine to theories of their study syllabuses, but come up with creative solutions to multitude of economic challenges faced by the country.
He praised the Institute of Engineers of Sri Lanka (IESL) for organizing techno2023 under theme, ‘Engineering for Regaining the Economy’ to showcase the potential of engineering technologies in helping the country to revive the economy and achieve the objective of overcoming the unprecedented economic crisis by promoting entrepreneurship, encouraging new business ventures, creating job opportunities, and boosting economic growth is laudable.
He recalled that as a young MP in 1985, he supported the then Minister P. Dayaratna to get the parliamentary approval of IESL Bill. “I express appreciation of IESL’s role as a leading professional institution of engineering and technology to bring out and unleash Sri Lanka’s multi–disciplinary engineering talents for driving our country towards technological excellence and for assisting the uplifting living standards of our peoples,” he said.
Pointing out that the economy suffered a recession, high levels of unemployment, inflation, and a widening trade deficit in addition to the inability of debt payment due to Covid 19 pandemic, followed by global economic downturn, the Prime Minister said engineers could play a critical role as engineering solutions can help in addressing some of those key challenges faced by the economy. For example, infrastructure development can improve the transportation system, energy generation, and telecommunication, which can facilitate trade and commerce, attract foreign investments, and create job opportunities, he said.
Acting Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath urged the engineering and technology experts to provide digital solutions to face current challenges so that the digital economic contribution to gross domestic production could be increased from current Rs 3.8 billion to 5 billion. He said the engineering solutions have the potential to develop education and skills to create a talented workforce, which can attract foreign investments, create job opportunities locally and abroad, and promote innovation. Prof. Ranjith Dissanayake, President of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, Eng. R B M Gunawardena, Deputy Executive Secretary, IESL past presidents and members were present at the techno2023 inauguration.