Council for business with Britain to promote SL as base for UK companies

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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, stated CBB President Tania Polonowita Wettimuny at the Council’s AGM recently.

Taking on the mantle of leadership for 2022/23, Wettimuny said “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 added “It is paramount 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”.

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

Guest of Honour, Suresh De Mel – Chairman, Export Development Board addressed the audience 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 of Sri Lanka, delivering the Keynote Address expressed confidence that once 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 added that once Sri Lanka unveils a macro-economic programme 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 (Pvt) Ltd and Ameena Ziauddin, Development Director, Norfolk Foods (Pvt) Ltd , Treasurer, Irfan Thassim – Oceanpick, and Immediate Past President, Roshanie J Moraes – Link Natural (Pvt) Ltd.