Trade Finance Association of Bankers (TFAB) held their 20th Anniversary Celebrations along with the Annual Inter-Bank Trade Quiz and Social at the Balmoral Hall, Kingsbury Hotel recently, with the Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka as the Chief Guest. Several Chief Executive Officers and members of the corporate management of commercial banks, senior bankers attached to trade departments of banks along with senior government officials connected to import and export trade graced the occasion
Consequent to the inaugural address by Manjula Gunawardena, President, Trade Finance Association of Bankers, a Slide Show titled ‘Down Memory Lane’ depicting the highlights of the twenty year history of the Association was presented to the audience. The Association has since its inauguration been continuously engaged in developing the trade practices as well as the trade practitioners, by conducting Public Seminars, Guest Lectures, Publication of Newsletters and taking up trade related issues with the relevant regulatory authorities. The educational tours to the Colombo Port which were fully sponsored by the Association have been well received by its members.
The Inter-bank Trade Quiz has been the premier event of the Association and is designed to test and share the knowledge in international trade finance among the trade practitioners. The social which follows facilitate networking to improve connectivity among the bankers handling trade across all commercial banks in Sri Lanka.
The annual six-a-side cricket tournament the ‘Trade Sixes’ is another event organised by the Association to promote goodwill, understanding and fellowship among its members across all commercial banks in Sri Lanka. This year the Association is planning to include Netball along with the Trade Cricket Sixes to add colour to the sporting and fellowship event.
The Association wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the commercial banks operating in Sri Lanka who have always extended their fullest support to the Association for playing a major role in the development of trade practitioners, their staff members, and addressing issues affecting the trade business.
Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy addressed the audience to share some general observations about the economy and what is being done in terms of policy and programs. He elaborated on the prospects for trade in this country, in terms of whether or not we can be confident that trade volumes are going to increase, and to make the case that there is good prospects that the international trading sector could increase in this country provided we do some things and get them right.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Association re-launched its web site www.tfab.org with a better look and feel and with additional features. The Association also launched its Anniversary Publication. First copy of the publication was presented by the Editor Senaka De Silva to the Chief Guest. Thereafter the Chief Guest presented copies of the publication to each of the writers who contributed articles to the Anniversary Publication.
The Chief Guest, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka presented medals to the members of the Inaugural Council and the Past Presidents in recognition of their contribution to the Association and to the international trade finance community at large. At the Inaugural General Meeting held in 1997 the following Council Members of the Association elected were recognised: A. Kathiravelupillai – President, Ernest Gunasekera – Vice President, Michael Peiris – Secretary General, Ananda Liyanage – Assistant Secretary, Jegan Durairatnam – Treasurer, Damayanthi Tillekeratne – Assistant Treasurer and the Council Members: Ravi Molligoda, Parama Dharmawardene, Lakshman Edward, J.L.S. Liyanage, Kumar Wickramarachchi, Preethi Jayawardena and A.H. Bakshy.
The Past Presidents recognised were A. Kathiravelupillai, Ernest Gunasekera, Michael Peiris, Lakshman Edward, Gaya Manamperi, Parama Dharmawardene, M.K. Nndasiri, Nilam Jumat, Jayantha Neunhella, Ranjith Haputhanthri, Thushy David and Manjula Gunawardena who was also the President during the previous year.
The Organising Committee for the 20th Anniversary of the Association wishes to convey a special thank you to their sponsors for their generosity and contribution for all the events of the Association this 20th anniversary year. Their Platinum Sponsors; Bank of Ceylon, Commercial Bank and Deutsche Bank, Gold Sponsors; Peoples Bank and Seylan Bank, Silver Sponsors; National Development Bank, Sampath Bank and AB Securitas Ltd., and Bronze Sponsors – Citibank, Hatton National Bank, HSBC and Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation, as well as Nations Trust Bank, Pan Asia Bank, DFCC Bank and Union Bank and Print Media Partners; Daily Mirror, Sunday Times and Daily FT.
The 20th Anniversary Celebrations were flagged off with the annual Inter-Bank Trade Quiz which has been the premier event of the Association and is designed to test and share the knowledge in international trade finance among the trade practitioners. This year too the ‘Inter-Bank Trade Finance Quiz’ was keenly contested with 26 teams competing for the ‘Seylan Bank Challenge Trophy’. A new feature of the Trade Quiz was the Hot Seat Round with the top five teams vying for the final positions.
Seylan Bank ‘A’ was the Winner and the Winner’s Trophy, Gold Medals and Certificates were awarded to the team members, by D.P.K. Gunasekara Deputy General Manager – Corporate and Off-Shore Banking, Bank of Ceylon representing one of our Platinum Sponsors
Bank of Ceylon ‘C’ Team became the First Runner-up and the Trophy, Silver Medals and Certificates were awarded to the team members, by S. Renganathan, Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director, Commercial Bank of Ceylon representing another of their Platinum Sponsors.
National Savings Bank Team became the Second Runner up and the Trophy, Silver Medals and Certificates were awarded to the team members by Asanka Ranhotty, Vice President, Head – Cash Management and Trade Finance Financial Institutions, Sri Lanka, Deutsche Bank another of our Platinum Sponsors.
A one-time award for the 20th Anniversary year an award was made to the ‘Trade Rounds Champions’. Bank of Ceylon ‘C’ Team won this award and the trophy was handed over by Parama Dharmawardene, the Quiz Master.
The Seylan Bank Challenge Trophy was handed over to the Team Leader of the Winning Team, Seylan Bank ‘A’ Team by the Chief Guest, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy with Kapila Ariyaratne, Director/Chief Executive Officer, Seylan Bank in attendance. The Members of the winning Seylan Bank ‘A’ Team were; Shanaka Perera, Nimesh Dissanayake, Chandrika Vas Gunawardena, Gayan Dissanayaka and Pasan Palehipitiya.
The Fellowship, Dinner and Social which followed saw the bankers handling trade across all commercial banks in Sri Lanka networking to improve connectivity among them while having fun dancing to the music late into the night.