CBB to promote Sri Lanka as base for UK companies | Sunday Observer

CBB to promote Sri Lanka as base for UK companies

4 September, 2022

Enhancing bilateral trade and promoting Sri Lanka as a dynamic base for UK-based businesses will be among the main areas the Ceylon Chamber’s Council for Business with Britain (CBB) will focus on over the next year, said CBB President Tania Polonowita Wettimuny at the Council’s AGM recently.

Taking on the mantle of leadership for 2022-23, Ms. Wettimuny stressed the importance of creating long-term sustainable economic reforms and the role that organisations such as the CBB have to play in supporting economic recovery. Highlighting that the UK is the second largest market for Sri Lanka in terms of apparel and software, and the second largest source market for tourism so far this year, she said, “It is of paramount importance that we continue to nurture this market and build on it for future trade and FDI, by fostering business on both sides and building on the trade corridor.”

UK High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton thanked the CBB for its submission to the public consultation for the UK’s recently announced Developing Countries Trading Scheme, which will benefit Sri Lankan exports, and expressed the UK’s commitment to strengthening bilateral ties by supporting existing partnerships and facilitating collaboration in new sectors such as green technology

The guest of honour, Chairman, Export Development Board (EDB), Suresh De Mel outlined on the new initiatives of the EDB to support export trade and develop trade partnerships through the current economic challenges.

Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, delivering the keynote address expressed confidence that when a Staff-Level Agreement is reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of the month, it would enable a clearer picture of debt sustainability and debt targets for Sri Lanka to achieve in the next 10 years.

He said that after Sri Lanka unveils a macro-economic program in the medium to long-term, along with structural reforms, endorsed by the IMF, this would ensure significant credibility and encourage creditors to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to ensure debt-sustainability.

The 2022/23 executive committee comprises Vice Presidents: Shirendra Lawrence - MAS Holdings and Ameena Ziauddin, Development Director, Norfolk Foods, Treasurer: Irfan Thassim - Oceanpick, and Immediate Past President, Roshanie J. Moraes - Link Natural.

Committee: Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson, Unilever Sri Lanka, Sarath Ganegoda, Director, Hayleys, Sanath Manatunge, MD, Commercial Bank, Fadhil Jiffry, Head of Finance Centre of Excellence for Sri Lanka, London Stock Exchange Group SL, Gihan Jayasinghe, MD, Finlays Group, SL, Derek Mansfield, Director and Plant Manager, Sri Lanka Currency, De La Rue, Karim Schadlou, GM, Hilton Colombo Residences, Mark Surgenor, CEO, Sri Lanka and Maldives, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group and Shiluka Gunawardena, Principal, Deal Advisory, KPMG.

Michael Fernandopulle, Head of Trade and Investment at the DIT, of the British High Commission, Maarya Rehman, Country Director, British Council, Dougie Douglas, Director and Principal Consultant, Point to Point Consulting and Business Advisory and Arjuna Nanayakkara CEO, Global Market Technologies will be invitees to the Committee.