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Ceylon Chamber opens CSE trading to celebrate 180 years

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From left: CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike, CCC Deputy Vice Chairman Vish Govindasamy, CCC Former Chairman Deshamanya C.P. de Silva, CCC Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah, CACCI President Samir Modi, CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena, CCC CEO Dhara Wijayatilake, and CSE Director Shanil Fernando 

A special market opening ceremony was held at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday in recognition of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce cerebrating 180 years. 

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) was founded on 25 March 1839, for the purpose of best promoting the interests of commerce. This was among the very first group of chambers established in Asia. The Chamber has grown from having 26 memberships at its initial stages, to just over 600 today – with an outreach of 8,500 institutions. Twenty-nine of the current members have been members of the Chamber for over 100 years. Over the last 180 years, the CCC has diversified its services across the field.

Ceylon Chamber Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah, Former Chairman Deshamanya C.P. de Silva, Deputy Vice Chairman Vish Govindasamy, and CEO Dhara Wijayatilake from took part in the ceremony and was joined by Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industries President Samir Modi. CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena, Director Shanil Fernando, CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and Senior Management were present at the event, which was also graced by Sri Lankan business leaders. 

Ceylon Chamber Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah, speaking at the event, said: “Today, as the premier business chamber in this country, Ceylon Chamber plays an important role in engaging on policy advocacy with the Government in promoting economic activity and growth. I think it is also a great thing to note that of the 600 or so members at Ceylon Chamber, we have 29 who have survived the entire journey, and I think it is only fitting that we recognise those 29 companies who have steered themselves during 18 decades. It is also fitting to recognise of these 600 members, we have 97 companies who are listed on the CSE.”

Speaking at the ceremony, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike congratulated Ceylon Chamber on achieving the milestone of completing 180 years, and commended the contribution of the Chamber towards the promotion of trade and economic activity over the years. The CSE CEO further said: “The stock exchange has partnered the Chamber in the area of investment and encouraging entrepreneurship through various forums and seminars. We look forward to a greater collaboration between the two institutions, especially given that both our institutions have a mandate to promote trade and investment.”

Over the past 180 years, the Ceylon Chamber has responded to the needs of the business community that has experienced an evolving landscape — from a focus on a few traditional commodities’ trade, to a widely diversified commercial business arena shaped by new consumer needs, export diversification, and deeper engagement with countries across the world, fueled by technology and the advent of the digital economy. 

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