Seated from left: SLCHBC Treasurer Ruwan Senavirathne, Vice President Chaminda Perera, Embassy of People’s Republic of China Commercial Counsellor Yang Zuoyuan, SLCHBC President Thulitha Mendis, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Manager Business Council Dinithi Dias and SLCHBC Senior Vice President Aruna Perera. Standing from left: Sulmy Magdon Ismail, Sinwa Holdings; K. Kunendran, Abans; Nathaniel Umesh Nithiyanandarajah, Sunshine Tea; M.A. Rajap, Hayleys Agriculture Holdings; A.R.M. Shafraz, Zam Gems; Prabath Harshakumar, John Keells Holdings; Sun Lai Yung, KPMG; Rizwan Jowhersha, Cosco Lanka; and Udith Wijetunga, David Pieris Motor Co. Not in the picture: Lasantha Wickremesooriya, Immediate Past President SLCHBC, AG Masters; and Joe Meng, Cosco Lanka
The 18th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka-China Business Council (SLCHBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce was held recently at Taj Samudra Colombo.
Embassy of People’s Republic of China Commercial Counsellor Yang Zuoyuan was the Chief Guest. SLCHBC was established on 26 April 2001, and formed under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The Council was formed at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the main objective of promoting trade, investment, services and tourism between Sri Lanka and China.
Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC Director – Commercial Thulitha Mendis was elected as the President of the Council for the year 2019-2020. In his address Mendis mentioned that 2018-2019 has been an eventful year and outlined some of the significant activities the council had undertaken during this period.
“Whilst world economy grew by 3.6% in year 2018 Chinese economy grew by 6.6% with a marginal drop over previous year. With a strong economic condition in we believe we would be able to draw more FDIs from China in years to come. The Ambassador had mentioned that there is a substantial increase of Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka and currently ranks top among foreign tourist to Sri Lanka. However, he points out that the language barrier and Chinese travellers’ strong preference to Chinese food are major concerns of further growing these numbers. We believe that we could find solutions for these concerns in order to reach higher tourist arrivals in time to come and council work towards the same,” he said.
Zuoyuan stated: “The China and Sri Lanka enjoy a long-standing traditional friendship dating back to 1600 years ago and the signing of the famous “Rice-Rubber Pact’ in 1952 symbolised the mutual trust and the interdependence of the two countries. In recent years, our economic and trade cooperation has yielded fruitful results. The value of bilateral trade in 2018 has exceeded $ 4.5 billion. Tourist arrivals from China reached 266,000. As you can see a stronger socioeconomic partnership is being built, which will bring more benefits to our two peoples.”
Aruna Perera – Lanka Shipping and Logistics Ltd. was elected as the Senior Vice President and Chaminda Perera – Associated Motorways Ltd. as the Vice President. Ruwan Senaviratne – Stretchline Ltd. was elected as the Treasurer of SLCHBC. Lasantha Wickremasooriya – AG Masters Ltd. will serve as the Immediate Past President. The event provided an ideal opportunity for members to network with other Council Members, Embassy Officials and other Government Institutions.
Abans PLC, Cosco Lanka Ltd., David Pieris Motor Company Ltd., Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd., John Keells Holdings PLC, KPMG, Prima Ceylon Ltd., Sinwa Holdings Ltd., Sunshine Tea Ltd. and Zam Gems Private Ltd. were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.
Further details regarding membership of the Council could be obtained from the Secretariat of the Sri Lanka-China Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, No. 50, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 2. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel.: 011-5588861, 5588800.