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Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council: The journey of 25 years


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The Executive Committee of SLMBC 

The Malaysia-Sri Lanka Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (SLMBC) held its 25th year AGM and anniversary celebrations on 26 June at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. 

The Chief Guest was the High Commissioner of Malaysia Tan Yang Thai. Malaysia-Sri Lanka Business Chamber President Dato Kulasegaran, past presidents, members of the council, members of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and distinguished invitees participated.

A special souvenir was published to commemorate the silver jubilee, which included details of the activities of the SLMBC, names of High Commissioners of Malaysia who were the patrons of the council, past presidents and past committees as well as milestones achieved. All past presidents were recognised at this event.

Welcoming distinguished guests and members SLMBC President Iqram Cuttilan said: “It is indeed a special year as we celebrate the silver jubilee anniversary of the council this year. Inaugurated in 1994 with 44 members, the council has grown over the past years to be one of the vibrant business councils under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. During the past year too, the council has been active hosting and meeting several business delegations from Malaysia who visited Sri Lanka. The SLMBC had fruitful meetings as well as organised B2B sessions for the visiting delegations.”

In November 2018, a business delegation from the council visited Malaysia to promote trade, investment and business cooperation between Sri Lankan and Malaysian companies. “It was a successful mission as we met officials of MATRADE, MIDA, and numerous trade chambers. We also had meetings with the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Business Chamber which coordinated our visit along with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Malaysia. We are thankful to the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Business Chamber who were wonderful hosts,” said Cuttilan.

Outlining CSR projects, he said: “We continued our CSR projects of providing scholarships to four students under the Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamned and Mr. Tilak Gunawardena Scholarship scheme. Additionally, we also made a donation to the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith in support of the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the families of the victims of the Easter bombings.”

Cuttilan extended his thanks to all those who supports towards the success of the council during its 25-year journey. 

As the Chief Guest for the AGM, Tan Yang Thai congratulated the President and the newly-appointed Executive Committee and said: “Malaysia and Sri Lanka have a lot of potential which have yet to be explored. Business relations continue to expand and it is my sincere believe that SLMBC will continue to play its part in enhancing bilateral trade cooperation further. I am also happy to note that SLMBC has established a good link with its Malaysian counterpart, the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Business Council. I urge both SLMBC and MSLBC to continue this excellent cooperation for the benefit of our two countries.

“Malaysia on the other hand also welcomes greater participation from Sri Lanka’s businesses and investments by making Malaysia as the gateway to ASEAN that offers huge market opportunities of more than 630 million consumers. There exists vast potential for Sri Lankan investors to explore. It is my fervent hope that the Sri Lankan business communities would continue to foster close cooperation and partnership with Malaysian investors, particularly in exploring new areas of trade and investment. 

“Trade between our two nations has indeed strengthened. Malaysia values Sri Lanka as an important trade and investment partner in the South Asian region. Malaysia’s total bilateral trade with Sri Lanka was at an all-time high of $ 718.3 million last year. This year’s bilateral trade for the period of January-April 2019 was $ 192.7 million. 

“In terms of investment, Malaysia remains committed to invest in Sri Lanka. Last year alone, a number of trade delegations came to Sri Lanka and participate in various trade expositions and exhibitions. Even after the tragic Easter Sunday incident, the High Commission continue to receive inquiries regarding business opportunities in Sri Lanka. In fact, just last week, I had the opportunity to bring an investment delegation from Malaysia to meet with his President Sirisena as well as his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The positive feedback exemplifies the Malaysian investors’ confidence in the Sri Lankan economy.”

International Scholar Educational Services Ltd. Chairman/CEO Keerthi Jayasooriya was elected as the President of the Council while Ranjan Nadesapilai Associates Partner Ranjan Nadessapillai and Ilham Inspiration Ltd. Director Khalid Farouk were elected as Vice Presidents.

Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd. CEO/Managing Director Iqram Cuttilan will be serving the committee as the Immediate Past President. Committee Members for year 2018/2019: Amana Takaful Life Plc, Ceylon Jewellery Manufacturers, Dialog Telekom Ltd., Just in Time Holdings Ltd., Hemas Air Services Ltd., Macksons Holdings, Public Bank BERHAD, Spillburg Holdings Ltd., World Express CMB Ltd. and Zam Gems were elected. 

 


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