In a first time event, in parallel to the Governor’s Challenge Trophy for global commerce excellence, the global commerce excellence awards and medals will be presented to selected categories of Sri Lankan entities and individuals.
The Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, and the Shippers’ Academy Colombo have been instrumental with the concept with guidance amd technical assistance coming from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The criteria behind the awards and medals are to recognise the contribution made by the business community at large and those who supported global commerce in Sri Lanka during the past three decades since liberalising the economy. The Sri Lankan economy had an average growth of 5% GDP whilst fighting the obstacles of brutal and deadly terrorism that was attempting to cripple the country until 2009. The organising committee is of the view that while Sri Lanka is now moving to a new era with greater economic growth it is always good to remember the past and honour those who helped the country with dedication and commitment during the hard times in whatever the way they could do.Due to the resilience of the local entrepreneurs and organisations both in the public and the private sector, the country managed to beat all odds against terrorism and continued to keep the hopes alive for the past 30 years. This is a remarkable example to the world given the circumstances the country and its people faced.
Janaka Ratnayake, who is leading the apex body for exports, the Export Development Board (EDB) was of the view that Sri Lanka now should and could move forward at double the pace for the next 20 years lead by export development and to be a leading global commerce hub servicing the region. He also expressed that these recognitions were timely as the EXPO 2012 event would also be held in the early part of 2012, where the EDB would attract a large number of international participants to increase awareness of Sri Lanka’s global commerce capabilities. He also said that the President had announced a very favourable Budget for 2012 to boost exports.
SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama was also keen to emphasise that Sri Lanka would certainly be a key location in the 21st century maritime sector servicing the global commerce activities of Sri Lanka and the region. He said: “We are very keen to recognise the players who have played an important role in the past in our country as well as those who will play an important role in the future to expand the national economy through greater global commerce activity. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka which has endorsed the global commerce excellence awards and medals will be the key macroeconomic institution that will help balance the economic activity in Sri Lanka through its policy directions in managing stability and growth.” The event organising committee chairman, Mr. Rohan Masakorala, CEO, Shippers’ Academy Colombo expressed his gratitude to the Central Bank Governor, EDB Chairman and the SLPA Chairman for their fullest support along with other institutions which have come forward to help this first-time event. “The event will send a new message to the business community that Sri Lankans in partnership can achieve greater heights and be a real rising star in Asia.” He added: “We have tried to accommodate all interests in different sectors in global commerce and have invited the recipients accordingly and no one had to apply for the same. The awards and medals are themed as ‘Recognising the Big and the Bold’ and will cover the five categories that were selected after research and analysis done on six fundamental areas to support the effort, they included, turnover, employment, national importance, innovativeness and uniqueness together with support for global commerce.”
“People and businesses took a lot of risk and effort to keep our country stable during the 30 years the country and its people suffered. This event will felicitate all those who took risk in that process and at the same time we are very thankful to our leaders for elimination of the menace we faced.”
The categories are:
nChambers facilitating global commerce
nLeading public institutions facilitating global commerce
nListed large diversified conglomerates and companies involved in supporting global commerce
nNon-listed large companies in diversified fields dealing with global commerce
nIndividuals, investors and business personalities supporting global commerce directly and indirectly
The award ceremony will take place in parallel to the first ever Governor’s Challenge Trophy (GCT) awards ceremony on 13 December 2011 at the Ceylon Continental Hotel, where Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Governor of Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and IMF Resident Representative Dr. Koshy Mathai will be presenting the awards and medals.