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We live in a VUCA world. Everything that’s happening around us shows it beyond doubt. Our ability to slow down, reflect and take charge in responsible ways must be sharpened continuously. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” That’s a timeless quote from Albert Einstein which has so much relevance today.

Our perspective of what is happening and what responses are needed is largely driven by our mind which is already conditioned by the past experiences. And, this doesn’t lead necessarily to new thinking as we tend to rely on our hard-wired memory. Even cultivated Trust is only a belief. We all may have discovered it at some stage in our life – instead, Trust has to be discovered within. We will need extra-ordinary courage to move away from the known to the unknown.

For us to win and keep winning in the VUCA world, our thinking has to change. We need to grow internally. We cannot achieve much growth internally by holding on to the cultivated beliefs and a mind that is afraid to explore without seeking to explain. Our game is no longer the analogy to the Chess moves that the conventional wisdom taught us: anticipate and stay two moves ahead of your opponent. In the VUCA world where the change is exponential we must strive to become “surfers riding waves” who will not get crushed by the next wave and the next, and the next. And, the One Thing we need to master is Mental Fortitude.

On 31st January 2020, the UK left the European Union following an unprecedented Brexit vote. On 19 May the UK Government announced its new tariff regime - the United Kingdom Global Tariff (UKGT) scheme or the Most Favored Nation tariff regime of the UK, designed specifically to suit the UK economy. It is the first independent tariff policy in almost fifty years. UKGT will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff (CET) and will be effective from 01 January 2021, after the Brexit transition period.

The UKGT regime has differences compared to the current EU CET and it is important to understand the competitive position of Sri Lankan exports in the UK market after 2021 in the light of the proposed preferential scheme that will be introduced.

The purpose of this webinar is to educate the Sri Lankan exporters on the upcoming UKGT regime and explain the post Brexit market challenges and opportunities.

Dr Lakmini Mendis is the Minister Commercial at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, since May 2019. She has more than 20 years of work experience in public, private and semi-government organizations bearing different responsibilities and performing diverse roles as a country representative, a trade expert, negotiator, commercial/trade officer, lecturer, resource person, management consultant, market researcher and a banker.

Working for the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka (DOC) which contributes towards trade policy formulation and implementation for more than 18 years, she has gained firsthand work experience as a bilateral, regional and multilateral trade expert, negotiator and a trade/investment/tourism promotion officer.

As a Diplomatic officer responsible for commercial and economic matters, she represented the interests of Sri Lanka as the Second Secretary Commercial at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Malaysia (2003-2005), First Secretary Commercial, London (2005-2009), and Chargè d’ Affairs/Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the WTO and the UN Organizations in Geneva (2011-2013) and at present Minister (Commercial) Sri Lanka High Commission, London.

Dr Mendis holds a PhD from the University of Adelaide, Australia for her thesis “How can the Global Food Security Challenges be addressed in the Multilateral Trading System”, MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) Sri Lanka and BSc in Business Administration from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.