Seated from left: Senior Vice Chairman Rimoe Saldin, Polypak Secco; Rohan Casiechetty, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Chairman Elect Dinesh Dharmadasa, Ceylon Tobacco Company; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva; Immediate Past Chairman Nilam Jayasinghe, Ceylon Biscuits; and Pravir Samarasinghe, The Swadeshi Industrial Works. Standing from left: Sanjev Perera, Alpha Industries; Anushka Vidanapathirana, Hettigoda Industries; Alikie Perera, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Noman Lufti, Unilever Sri Lanka; Viville Perera, Richard Pieris & Co; and Bandula Egodage, Nestle Lanka
The Industrial Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) recently announced the appointment of its office bearers for the year 2016/2017 at its 25th Annual General Meeting held at Hilton Residences.
Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC Legal and External Affairs Director Dinesh Dharmadasa was elected as the Chairman of the Association for the ensuing year while Rimoe Saldin, Polypak Secco Ltd., was elected as the Senior Vice Chairman and Dushantha Ranaraja, Haycarb PLC, as the Deputy Vice Chairman.
Speaking at the event, the newly-appointed Chairman Dharmadasa stated: “It is indeed an honour to be elected as the Chairman of the IASL for the upcoming year. Through the years, this body has successfully contributed to the development of industries where rapid industrialisation and meaningful expansion has been the norm. Industries are facing numerous challenges in the local operating environment. These include high import duties and levies on imported raw material which goes into finished products. As an Association dedicated to further the interests of local industries, we are willing to discuss with the Government the challenges that have adversely affected our industries.”
Primarily representing industrial and manufacturing interests in Sri Lanka, the IASL is a constituent body of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and has continued to formulate realistic strategies that contribute towards steady industrial growth in the country. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva was the Chief Guest at the event where dignitaries from the CCC and attendees from a multitude of industrial organisations also participated.
Addressing the gathering on sentiments towards the country’s growth, Dr. Harsha de Silva remarked, “I extend my thanks to the Association for providing me with this opportunity to explain what we have planned to achieve in the near future. While an increase in exports will be significant contributor toward the economic growth of the country, we believe there should be a simultaneous increase in imports to reap benefits as well. Taking into consideration a multitude of factor including foreign policy, trade agreements and competitiveness, it is important that we understand each other and work together towards a more competitive nation with strong bridges which ensures that investment rolls in and production rolls out.”
The IASL currently constitutes of 65 well-known industrial organisations that has contributed to represent a strong presence in the local industrial sector. Since its inception in 1991, they have engaged government and policymaking stakeholders and have effectively supported in formulating a suitable industrial policy environment. With the appointment of the new committee members, IASL is confident in continued government engagement that will safeguard the interest of industries at large.