“Vietnam and Sri Lanka have now become very close friends. This is a very favourable condition for the businessmen of both countries to do business with each other. It is time for you to take action,” said Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador for Vietnam in Sri Lanka at the First Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Vietnam Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
He further emphasised the potential areas in Sri Lanka for Vietnamese companies to initiate joint ventures.
|Seated from left: Sirimal Fernando, Astron Ltd., Lilakshini de Mel, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador for Vietnam in Sri Lanka, Anton Godfrey, AG International (Pvt) Ltd., Patrick Rodrigo, Walker Sons Pvt Ltd. Standing from left: S. Hirdaramani, Hirdaramani International Exports (Pvt) Ltd., Phung Trong Tuan, Embassy of Vietnam, Rohitha Tillekeratne, Merchant Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Nasleen Jayawardena, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo and Andre Fernando, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd
Amongst the areas highlighted were port services, IT, tourism, garments, gems, tea, rubber, agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure development.
Addressing the membership of the Sri Lanka – Vietnam Business Council, Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh said that Vietnam’s total trade this year may pass the level of US$ 200 billion and will continue to attract foreign investments.
By the end of October this year, more than US$ 11 billion of FDI has been registered and US$ 9 billion has been implemented.
In the first 10 months, five million tourist arrivals have been recorded and Vietnam is targeting to receive six million foreign tourists by end 2011.
It was further stated that more promotion activities of tourist attractions in each country should be conducted.
If the beauty of Sri Lanka is promoted, many Vietnamese will choose Sri Lanka as their next destination.
Familiarisation trips should be organised for Vietnamese tour operators to build tour packages to Sri Lanka.
Council President Anton Godfrey stated that even though the Council was established as the 20th Business Council under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce 18 months ago it can claim to have been operating and executing various projects and initiatives very effectively.
The major project Council handled in recent times was the “Sri Lanka – Vietnam Business Forum” organised successfully to coincide with the visit of His Excellency the President of Vietnam to Sri Lanka in October 2011. Godfrey stated that in order to further strengthen business linkages between Sri Lanka and Vietnam, the Council will be organising a trade and investment promotion mission to Vietnam in March 2012.
The membership unanimously re-appointed Mr. Anton Godfrey as President of the Council. Dr. Mahesha Ranasoma, CEO, Dipped Products PLC and Patrick Rodrigo, Head of Administration, Walker Sons Ltd. were appointed as Vice Presidents of the Council.
The following were elected as Committee Members for 2011 – 2012 – Astron Ltd., Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo Hirdaramani International Exports (Pvt) Ltd., MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. and Merchant Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.