Sri Lanka-Russia Business Council holds 10th AGM

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 01:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lanka-Russia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, 25 June, at the Russian Centre Colombo. Evgeny Sergienko, Counsellor of the Russian Federation was the Chief Guest. Director General of the Department of Commerce P.D. Fernando, President of the National Chamber of Commerce Sunil G. Wijesinha, former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Deshamanya Deva Rodrigo, key officials of the Russian Embassy and the Russian Cultural Centre and many other distinguished guests were present. Welcoming members and guests to the event, SLRBC President Hiran Karunaratne said: “We concluded an eventful year with many key undertakings and events; follow up of the MOU signed between the Chamber and ICIE – International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the negotiations held by the delegation of the ICIE with Sri Lankan companies, welcome dinner for the new Russian Ambassador Alexander Karchava, organising a familiarisation tour of local garment industry facilities for the Ambassador and consulting and assisting visiting Russian investors were among them. “With development opportunities opening up in Sri Lanka there is substantial interest of Russian industrialists and investors in the potential the country offers. A number of visits and meetings have been facilitated by the Council in recent months concerning opportunities in the spheres of industrial parks, nano-technology, pharmaceutical industry, power generation, prefabricated construction units and hotels. The council will continue to contribute to strengthening economic ties between Sri Lanka and Russia.” Delivering the keynote speech, Sergienko said: “There was a good opportunity to gain a foothold for the Russian business through taking part in joint projects with investment company Sri Lanka Gateway Industries, which is ready to engage with the relevant Russian companies in the area of the deepwater Port of Trincomalee in the east of the island. In this regard, with the support of the council, the Embassy initiative has been realised and the representative of the Interregional Association Siberian Agreement Sergey Lebeshev visited Colombo. “After years of armed conflict, one of the main tasks of the Sri Lankan Government is to improve the affected areas in the country through housing construction. In this regard, the Embassy arranged the visit of the Russian company Association of Builders of Russia, which is set to start large-scale construction of residential and social facilities. The Embassy believes that there are good prospects of mutual cooperation in the fishing industry and the draft intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of fisheries is at the final stage. “The new draft Intergovernmental Agreement on the establishment of an intergovernmental commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation is to be oriented to strengthen the legal framework for trade and promote traditional nomenclature of Russian high-tech equipment and Sri Lankan agricultural products.” Regency Teas Ltd. Director Hiran Karunaratne was re-elected as the President of the Council for the year 2013/2014. Priyantha Hapuar-achchi – Head of Finance Group Repo-rting and Performance Management, Agro Harapan Lestari Ltd. and Isuru Sam-arasinghe – Managing Director Unitrades Ltd. were appointed as the Vice Presidents of the Council and Mohamed Shabir, Managing Director, Delta Shipping Ltd. will serve the committee as the Immediate Past President. The following were appointed as Committee Members for the year 2012/2013: Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd., Imperial Teas Ltd., Mos Lanka Investments Ltd., Hayleys Leisure Holding Ltd., Maharaja Organisation Proj-ects Ltd., Hayleys Energy Services Lanka Ltd., HVA Lanka Exports Ltd., Avian Technologies Ltd., Freight Links International Ltd., and  World Travel Center Colombo Ltd. The council felicitated the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Society and Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka Dr. Saman Weerasinghe who has been awarded the Order of Honour of the Russian Federation by the President and the Government of Russia for his contribution to fostering closer economic, political and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Russia. SLRBC Vice President Isuru Samarasinghe in his Vote of Thanks expressed the gratitude of the Council to the Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Embassy in Russia and also the Russian cultural Center Centre in Colombo for their continued support towards the activities of the council. The AGM was followed by cocktails and fellowship.