NCCSL changes Constitution
The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), headed by
Asoka Hettigoda changed the constitution of the Chamber to accommodate
small and medium enterprises.
Hettigoda said that the constitution was changed to accommodate SMEs.
He said they are given many concessions on their membership fees and on
eligibility criteria for the National Business Excellence awards, the
comprehensive awards scheme organised by the NCCSL to recognise and
He said the chamber consists of 250 corporate bodies and 2000 SMEs
and this combination is unparalleled for any chamber.
Hettigoda is taking the Chamber forward based on the themes of moving
Sri Lanka from a production country to a medium technology country that
will act as a hub for skills development and analyse the future of the
country's trading partners.
The Chamber with more than 2,000 members is in a position to educate
the entrepreneurs to elevate them from basic production to value added
form. He said people should be sent abroad to acquire latest knowledge.
He said that tax relief is necessary for high-tech research and
development. He said that this is the way forward for Sri Lanka.
At present the country exports a lot of raw material but we should
now try to move to at least a semi process stage which will earn us the
extra foreign exchange.
With peace in the North and the East and a surge in cultivation there
will be an abundance of rice and there should be technology to preserve
it to reduce post harvest losses and this knowledge is required by SMEs
as it will open opportunities.
The Chamber focuses on promoting local industries and when Sri Lanka
becomes a middle income country, the SME contribution will increase to
80 percent while in other developed countries the SME contribution is
over 90 percent.
Hettigoda said that they are initiating a program together with the
Colombo University for entrepreneurship development. He said that they
plan to be the hub for skills development as it is a must to be a middle
income country and also be a knowledge hub to the region. In addition
the NCCSL will launch a annual training calendar.
Traditionally, our trading partners were the West but now it has to
shift to the giants of South East Asia and Asia. He said that the West
is experiencing difficulties which has made them thrifty buyers while
the Asian giants as well as the countries in the SEA is experiencing
robust growth. He said the Chamber is Organising trade delegations and
exhibitions to woo investors from other countries. He said the Chamber
is planning to take two trade delegations to Bangladesh and Vietnam. The
Chamber has a monthly meeting with an Ambassador or High Commissioner to
educate members on regulations and the potential for exports in those