Lanka, a vital trade partner in S. Asia - Malaysian HC | Page 4 | Sunday Observer

Lanka, a vital trade partner in S. Asia - Malaysian HC

12 September, 2021
Malaysian HC Tan Yang Thai
Malaysian HC Tan Yang Thai

The Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 27th Annual General Meeting virtually.

The High Commissioner of Malaysia to Sri Lanka, Tan Yang Thai was the chief guest. Khalid Farouk was elected as the new President of the Business Council for 2021/2022.

Outgoing President of SLMBC, Keerthi Jayasuriya said, “When took office as President of the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business council, we hoped to make some contribution towards further improving business ties between our two countries, which would go even some little way towards minimising the imbalance in trade between the two countries.

“However, little did I know that Covid was round the corner with an agenda of its own. Under the circumstances, we did what was possible. The Council organised a few webinars that we thought would benefit the business community and we supported four entrepreneurs who were affected by the pandemic to restart their business under a micro finance scheme. The Council continued and improved on the CSR activities. The most notable being the donation of a BiPAP Machine to Kegalle General Hospital,” he said.

Ambassador Tan Yang Thai said, “I am glad that SLMBC has been entrusted to an able hand and a long term friend of Malaysia. Currently we are going through a very challenging time.

Many businesses have been badly affected and the world economy is suffering tremendously. I believe we need to be thinking out of the box, be more adventurous and innovative in overcoming these challenges.

“We must strive to continue to further strengthen the economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

My colleagues and I at the High Commission are always ready to lend our assistance to you in this regard. Despite the constant threat of the covid-19 pandemic in the past one-and-a-half years, we have managed to organise a few important events. It gives me great pleasure to affirm the close cooperation that exists between SLMBC and the High Commission.

It is my fervent hope that after both our two countries’ borders are totally opened, we will continue where we left off.

“There are vast opportunities and economic sectors in Sri lanka and Malaysia which remained untapped. We should undertake our best efforts to bring trade delegations and organize meetings with potential business partners. SLMBC should continue to be the bridge between the business sectors of our two countries,” he said.

“Bilateral trade between our two nations continues to be badly affected due to the covid-19 pandemic. Malaysia’s total bilateral trade with Sri Lanka was at an all-time high of USD 929.1 million in 2019, with 19.3 percent growth, which is the highest in the South Asia region for that year. However, due to the pandemic, total bilateral trade for 2020 dropped significantly to reach slightly over USD 600 million. Having said that, I would like to re-emphasize that Malaysia still regard Sri Lanka as an important trade and investment partner in the South Asian region,” the Ambassador said.

For the period 2021-2022: Khalid Farouk, Managing Partner, Ilham Inspiration was elected as the President of SLMBC, while Mohamed Hameez, Managing Director, Spillburg Holdings and HsinHaw Li, Business Development Manager, Public Bank Berhad were elected as Vice Presidents. Keerthi Jayasuriya, Chairman and CEO of International Scholar Educational Services (Pvt) Ltd will serve as the Immediate Past President.

The committee elected will be represented by Amana Bank, Acorn Aviation, Aitken Spence Shipping, FMG Plastic, Flexicare Lanka, Mansoor Gems and Softlogic City Hotels.