European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka passes historic special resolution at recent AGM

Thursday, 13 February 2020 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Annual General meeting of the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) took place at the Royal Colombo Golf Club in January attended by its members to empower the Board of Directors and management on way forward for 2020. Sri Lanka’s window to business, ECCSL is a member-funded service-oriented entity, an enabler to bilateral trade and investment between Europe and Sri Lanka. 

At the event, it was pointed out that historically, the EU and Sri Lanka have always had strong and robust economic, trade and investment relationship. The EU is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner with 16% of total trade in 2018, ahead of India and China. More significantly, the EU is by far Sri Lanka’s biggest export destination with nearly 30% of the total exports going to Europe, a value of 2.8 billion euros, ahead of the US with 2.4 billion euros. The consequence of Brexit with the leave vote, winning by 52% to 48% (with more than 30 million people voting and 17.4 million people opting for Brexit) have been many. Given that the ECCSL considers it important to keep the UK members in a close trading relationship with the EU, at the event the passing of the resolution to include geographical countries of Europe was supported by all its members. 

Addressing the gathering, recently appointed Head of Operations Tanya Goonewardene noted that in the coming year, ECCSL is geared to carry out several initiatives to support and harness the potential for growth and expansion this opportunity brings. The Chamber is expected to carry out a heightened level of activity and participation and strengthen the role of the ECCSL to be the voice of business of its membership with relevant stakeholders with Europe.   The team presented the activities of 2019 as being beneficial to and championing the commercial needs of its membership. The members of the Chamber were informed that the activities for 2020.

The key highlights were said to include; initiatives towards increasing trade competitiveness in EU markets; sector specific trade facilitation events and knowledge sharing; inbound and outbound delegation exchange initiatives; networking and market integration opportunities; thumbnail case studies of success stories on the Chamber publication Euro-Link; policy creation and advocacy to support bilateral trade; and recognition of female entrepreneurship. 

The newly appointed Board of Directors under the Presidency of John Cockerill S.A. Country Representative Arnold Perera and Vice Presidency of Southern Spars International Country Manager Hatem Rajabdeen includes; Immediate Past President and Prestige Automobile Ltd. Chairman Heinz Reuter, Danish Agency Managing Director Hans Svendsen, Energy and Power Development Ltd. President Dilipan Tyagarajah, Creative Solutions Director Jonas Bridgewater, Camso Loadstar Ltd. CEO Koenraad Pringiers, AMBA Estate Ltd. Director Simon Bell, John Wilson Partners; Attorneys-at-Law and Notary Public Managing Proprietor John Wilson, DHL Global Forwarding Lanka Ltd. COO Ahamed ur Rahman. 

The auditors Wijerathne and Co. were reappointed and the members were briefed of the Chamber partners including banking partners; Standard Chartered Bank, Hatton National Bank, Flip-It Media, Daily FT and Anim8.