Since taking office as the Minister of Industry and Commerce in 2015-which is the third time that Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen,M.P was given this portfolio-Minister Bathiudeen has been in the forefront in representing Sri Lanka in global, multilateral and regional foras on industries and international commerce.
As the Minister of Industry and Commerce, he is currently also engaged in internal trade, industries, handicrafts, cooperatives, and SME development in the country as per the development vision of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka.
The Minister has been instrumental in enlisting the support of many global institutions to develop Sri Lankan economy. For example, he sourced the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to secure copyright, patents and Geographical Indicators for Sri Lanka’s designs, creations and export product-lines and also the national policy on traditional knowledge and practices.
In August 2013, Minister Bathiudeen took over the Chairmanship of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Ministerial Council.
A keen advocate for ensuring Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in diverse sectors, the Minister launched reform effort of Sri Lanka’s largest state owned retail chain Lanka Sathosa with the support of an international consultancy firm and to expand this retail chain to 500 outlets across the country.
Prior to assuming duties as the Minister of Industry and Commerce for the first time in 2010, Hon. Bathiudeen MP held the portfolio of Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services. Under this guidance, 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 co-ordination of the supply of emergency humanitarian relief services to approximately 300,000 internally displaced persons.
Minister Bathiudeen was born in Tharapuram 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. Rishad Bathiudeen is also the Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress.