Keerthi Gunawardane takes over as new Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka
Tuesday, 1 October 2013 01:15
The International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ICCSL) is the national body represent the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world business organisation, the only representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world on international trade, investment systems and market economy. ICC was founded in 1919. Its objective was to promote free trade among countries. ICC has Consultative Status with United Nations and its specialised agencies and it acts as the spokesman for international business. ICC has national committees in 130 countries including Sri Lanka.
ICC Sri Lanka (ICCSL) was incorporated in 1955 and has been engaged in a wide area of support to business. ICCSL is the only licensed authority to issue Carnet which forms an integral part of its operations, issues Certificates of Origin and conducts Arbitrations.
At the last Annual General Meeting of the ICCSL Keerthi Gunawardane was elected as the Chairman to take over the reins from Past Chairman Tissa Jayaweera.
Keerthi Gunawardane, did his studies at Kingswood College, Kandy, St. Thomas College Gurutalawa and Central College, Welimada. He entered the field of marketing and served the State Trading (General) Corporation and Toppan Moore (Colombo) Ltd. before he started his own company Graphic Systems Ltd., and Graphic Systems International Ltd.
He is an economics special graduate from the Sri Jayawardanepura University and obtained his postgraduate qualifications from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka in the field of business and financial administration. In addition he has qualified himself at Colombo University for hypermedia engineering and multimedia technology.
Speaking on his appointment as ICCSL Chairman Keerthi Gunawardane: “I am deeply honoured and privileged to be the Chairman of the national body of ICC. I have been contributing as the Honorary Secretary and as a Vice Chairman for the ICCSL for many years. All the past chairmen of ICCSL who have successfully created a strong reputation for the organisation. I should add more value to our members; create an environment all our members benefit using the ICC network.”
The Sri Lankan Government has planned to transform Sri Lanka into a strategically important economic centre by developing five strategic hubs; knowledge hub, commercial hub, naval and maritime hub, aviation hub and an energy hub, taking the advantage of Sri Lanka’s strategic location and resources.
As the national body of an international chamber we should find ways how we should use the ICC network to benefit our members and the Sri Lankan businessman. He noted the ICC initiatives in trade facilitation to bring down the cost of doing business from 10% to 5%. If this can be done the estimated benefits will be; global GDP boosted by $ 960 billion annually, increase exports of developing countries by $ 570 billion and of developed countries by $ 475 billion, and create 18 million jobs in developing countries and 3 million in developed countries.
Keerthi Gunawardane has been a successful past president of the Sri Lanka Association of Printers. He mange to negotiate with the government authorities to make the paper duty free and made many changes in the printing industry. This created opportunity for many printing companies to improves their quality and export their products to the global market.
He is presently serving as the Chairman Advisory Committee to the Export Development Board on printing and packaging and Vice President of Sri Lanka Printers Co-operative Society. He has served as Council Member and a SAARC member at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry Sri Lanka, Chairman of the SAARC IT Council, Chairman of the FAGAT Forum of Graphic Art Technology, Board Member Ingrin Institute of Printing and Graphics, Board Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Printing and Board Member of the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board.