Since taking office as the Minister of Industry and Commerce in 2010, Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, M.P., has been in the forefront in representing Sri Lanka in several global, multilateral and regional foras. In August 2013 Minister Bathiudeen took over the Chairmanship of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Ministerial Council. The Minister was also instrumental in enlisting the support of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to secure copyright, patents and Geographical Indicators for Sri Lanka’s designs, creations and export product-lines i.e. Pure Ceylon Cinnamon, Pure Ceylon Tea and in progress is an initiative to ensure Geographical Indicators for Ceylon Blue Sapphires. Minister Bathiudeen has also entrusted the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) which falls under his purview, with the task of achieving $20 Bn export returns by 2020. With this aim in view, after a lapse of over fifteen years Minister Bathiudeen revived the Sri Lanka Expo – 2012, a mega trade, investment and tourism promotion initiative, which was staged last year under the theme of “Partnering with the Hub of Asia” with the participation of 1385 international visitors including trade buyers, ministerial delegations, investors, foreign employment companies and outbound tour operators from across the world. In support of providing a dynamic monthly forum for local businessmen to address directly bottlenecks and share recommendations with key ministry officials, the Exporters Forum was re-established after a lapse of two years. A keen advocate for ensuring Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in diverse sectors, the Minister recently launched the first ever workforce Privilege card in the country for the 350000 strong apparel sector ensuring special benefits with initially, 16 major vendors. Prior to assuming duties as the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, M.P., held the portfolio of Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services. Under this Ministry, in his capacity as Co-Chair of the Consultative Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (CCHA) – IDP relief services, during the most critical points of the war from 2005-2009, he supported the coordination of the supply of emergency humanitarian relief services to approximately 300,000 internally displaced persons. Minister Bathiudeen was born in Tarapuram in the Mannar District, Northern Province of Sri Lanka. He obtained professional engineering qualifications at the University of Moratuwa and subsequently became a member of the Institute of Incorporated Engineering of Sri Lanka (IIES). Hon. Rishak Bathiudeen is also the Leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress