Call for more joint ventures between Sri Lanka and Canada
Friday, 2 August 2013 03:03
The 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Canada Business Council was held on the 17th July 2013 at the Canada Club. The Council, which focuses on the objectives of ‘promoting investment, trade and joint venture between Sri Lanka and Canada’, is one of the twenty One bilateral business councils that function under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
H.E. Shelley Whiting, Ambassador Designate for Canada in Sri Lanka and Chief Guest in her speech stated that bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Canada is growing steadily.
The total merchandise trade between Canada and Sri Lanka stood at 511 million Canadian dollars in 2012. Imports into Canada were 189 million Canadian dollars, of which about 58% which consisted of apparel. Merchandise exports to Sri Lanka for 2012 stood at 321 million Canadian dollars. Canada has established an important share of the Sri Lankan market for wheat and other agriculture commodities. Almost 84% of Canadian merchandise exports to Sri Lanka in 2012 was wheat, which is the single most valuable item exported by Canada to Sri Lanka. She also mentioned that the High Commission, in terms of focus sectors for trade they take a multi-pronged approach.
They recognize that all aspects of trade are important however these have been selected based on the opportunities in the market, and competencies and the availability of resources. The priority sectors are Agriculture, including food and beverage, the Education sector, and the growing demand for quality Canadian higher education, Information Technology, including telecommunication, software and internet related applications, Infrastructure, in aviation, ports and highways, water and urban development, and clean energy, harnessing the abundant natural resources of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Sampath Liyanage, Managing Director, Divehi Holdings (Pvt) Ltd was elected as President of the Council for the year 2013-2014. He mentioned that the incoming Committee would encourage joint ventures between Sri Lanka and Canada, exchange information on trade & investment, conduct joint meetings with Canadian business organizations in Sri Lanka and Canada and will serve as a recognized representative of the business sector interests in Sri Lanka.
Ms. Ramya Perera, General Manager, Infotechs Limited and Mr. Chandev Abhayaratne, Director, Fentons Limited were appointed as Vice Presidents respectively.