Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 10 th Annual General Meeting
The Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 10 th Annual General Meeting on 07 th July 2021 virtually. Her Excellency, Ho Thi Thanh Truc, Ambassador of Vietnam in Sri Lanka graced the event as the Chief Guest.
Ranil Seneviratne address the gathering stated that the period under review was very challenging with the onset of the Covid pandemic but highlighted despite all difficulties the Council was able to organize webinars for the benefit of its members as well as other companies interested in Trade and Investment in the region. The Council jointly organized webinar with Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on “Thailand and Vietnam – Current Economy, Business Environment and Opportunities for Joint Collaborations”, as well as a webinar on Export Oriented Investments, Opportunities, Benefits and Investment Process in Vietnam. Both webinars were with collaboration with the respective Embassies in Sri Lanka and Missions in Vietnam and Thailand. During the year the Executive committee made courtesy calls to Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar embassies and during these visits the Council discussed many issues both countries face including procedures on Visas, Trade barriers, Investment opportunities, ImportRestrictions, Technological assistance, Free Trade agreements and many other areas. While congratulating the newly appointed committee, Ho Thi Thanh Truc, Ambassador of Vietnam in Sri Lanka informed that Vietnam is now entering a new stage of development with a goal and vision to become a middle-income country with modern industries by 2030, and to become a developed, high-income country by 2045.
Further stated that given Sri Lanka, located at the heart of the Indian Ocean, one of the busiest maritime routes, Sri Lanka has attracted the attention of the world’s big powers due to its strategic location in the region. Sri Lanka’s government supports private sector empowerment and a public-private partnership model for mutual development. Besides, Colombo’s new port city will be a financial centre of South Asia and a major attraction for investors in the near future.
Also highlighted that two countries so far have signed many bilateral agreements and MoUs on cooperation in different fields as well as, respectively, joining in regional and multilateral economic institutions. Give both countries have signed bilateral and multilateral new generation free trade agreements with many major economies to expand and diversify markets and participating more deeply in regional and global supply chain that it is absolutely clear that through strong trade and economic cooperation, the two countries can become the two hubs of a regional supply chain and both countries can be the bridge to penetrate the markets in each other’s’ region.
For the period 2021-2022, S.M.D. Suriyakumara, of Maliban Biscuits Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd elected as the President of the Council while Mahen Weerasekera, of Capitol Developers Ltd, Mr. Kamal Boyagama, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and Randeewa Malalasooriya, Ceylon Biscuits (Pvt) Ltd Limited elected as Vice Presidents. The Committee to be represented by Astron Ltd, Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt) Ltd, Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd, Lanka Hospitals PLC and Rhino Roofing Ltd. Ranil Seneviratne of Ranfer Teas (Pvt) Ltd will sever as the immediate past president.