Preethi Jayawardena was appointed as the new Chairman of the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) at its recently-concluded Annual General Meeting. In his address, which is reproduced below, Jayawardena delivered a resoundingly optimistic message to the nation at large:
It is with great joy and pride, coupled with a sense of quiet achievement and fervent expectation for the future that I stand here before you as the newly-elected Chairman of this illustrious and pioneering organisation.
Assuming my duties soon after the successful closure of the CNCI Achiever of Industrial Excellence Awards, 2011 – which recognised the true potential and the many endeavours of committed and visionary individuals and corporations in the markets and industries – I am confident of setting new standards and fresh goals which will enable the strengthening of our nation’s social, political and economic fabric.
Having witnessed some outstanding contributions centred on commercial growth and creative thinking in 2011, I am acutely aware of the vast skills and capabilities our local enterprises possess, while combating the many challenges and obstacles that threaten their very survival.
As your new Chairman I will strive to expand our horizons as the foremost industrial chamber in the country for the past five decades, providing wise counsel and exemplary leadership, which will undoubtedly improve the overall standards of the industry, especially in manufacturing, strategic development and research.
Every year, the chamber undertakes as its central objective the encouragement and stimulation of domestic industries and corporate entities, providing much needed support services and facilitation. We collectively uphold and honour our Mission Statement, thereby aiming to provide fertile conditions in which enterprises can excel, and also capitalising on the climate of peace by buttressing vital partnerships with Government, regional and local bodies.
We at the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries firmly believe that the pursuit of excellence cannot be limited to only a few key players in trade and industry, and thus we aim to stimulate overall growth in all sectors of industry and also encourage the practice of professional excellence at all times.
It is indeed heartening to witness Sri Lankan enterprises succeed considerably in Asian and global markets in the past years, and this remains a key vision for the future – to contribute towards the stimulation of local businesses on the international corporate-commercial stage.
After almost five decades in the industry, I have proudly witnessed the extent to which our vision and objective-centred undertakings have reached all levels of industry. I also applaud every achievement made by businesses and enterprises, and salute their resilience, hard work, dedication and well-honed professional ethics.
I take this opportunity to also commend the Government of Sri Lanka for creating an environment of peace, which has proved extremely conducive to trade. The Government’s incentive measures aimed at encouraging the business community have also paved the way for greater commercial growth and a better understanding of trade and commerce amongst regional bodies like SAARC.
Today the world stage is dominated by broad economic instability, gross unemployment and the collapse of key industries. Thus, as a nation it is paramount for us to come together in order to defeat global recession in the future, which is currently slowly taking place in many advanced Western economies.
Globalisation has opened numerous doors for us, but has also made us interdependent on other economies for survival, and we at the Chamber need to assume a more proactive role in securing and stabilising our national economy to face the crises of the future.
My message to you this day is one of hope of fervent anticipation – that we at the Chamber will be the guiding force; the architects of a model economy and a brighter and more prosperous future!