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Sri Lankan gov't calls on expatriate scientists to support post-war development


17:53, December 07, 2011

COLOMBO, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka is encouraging expatriate scientists to assist in its post-war development by holding a global forum next week, a minister said here on Wednesday.

"We must arrest this brain drain and the government is taking measures to engage with the expatriate scientists so that they can contribute to local industries," Technology and Research Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told media at the launch of the forum.

The "Global Forum of Sri Lankan Scientists" is organized by the National Science Foundation and the Technology and Research Ministry to gain the knowledge of scientists that have left the country to fast track post-war development.

The Sri Lankan government has invested over 6 billion rupees in massive infrastructure programs since the end of the three-decade conflict in 2009 and aims to maintain its growth above 8 percent in 2012.

However, only 1.5 percent of Sri Lanka's manufactured exports are based on advanced technology and thousands of scientists as well as academics migrate each year due to poor income and resource issues in Sri Lanka.

Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, advanced design and manufacture, natural resources and food and water security are the main topics of the forum.

Wanniarachchi said over 50 expatriate scientists and 170 local scientists are expected to attend the forum.

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