ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody rings the opening bell
for trading at the CSE yesterday. From left: CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena, ICC Sri Lanka Secretary Shanil Fernando, ICC
Sri Lanka Treasurer Sheanath De Soysa, and CSE Director Anton Godfrey - Pic by Lasantha Kumara
By Nuwan Senarathna
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Sri Lanka yesterday rang the opening bell for trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange, to mark its 100th anniversary.
Speaking at the event, ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody outlined plans to conduct a special promotion among all listed companies to obtain ICC Sri Lanka membership.
“We are trying to do a special promotion and introduce discounts targeting CSE-listed companies to get membership of ICC Sri Lanka.”
Weerakkody said obtaining membership of ICC Sri Lanka would open more opportunities for local businesses to reach the global market and expand their business. He said the ICC was ready to offer help to Sri Lankan businesses after the Easter Sunday attacks.
Weerakkody called for business chambers to work with the Government to improve peace and national security in the country. “One of the themes that came out at the recent World Council was that business chambers in the world now have to work with the Government to ensure peace and security. Business chambers can no longer leave it to the Government, they have a role to play,” he said.
CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena said he was pleased to note that ICC is embracing a new purpose in advocating for peace, prosperity and equal opportunities, which is most relevant from a Sri Lankan perspective.
Abeywardena took the opportunity to congratulate ICC Sri Lanka for the work that has been carried out in Sri Lanka since its inception in 1995. He said ICC Sri Lanka had paved the way for local companies to connect to global networks, insisting that it helped Sri Lankan corporates to obtain the opportunity to access global outreach, with a widespread network for fostering international trade and cooperation.
He said initiatives introduced by the ICC in Sri Lanka such as ‘The Most Admired Companies’ had paved the way to evaluate efficient and quantitative performance of the local corporate sector.
“ICC Sri Lanka in the recent past has closely worked with CSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in our effort to promote Sri Lankan capital markets overseas, where the Chairman, Secretary and the ICC team were instrumental in introducing the Chamber’s international networks in the UK and Singapore as promotional partners, during our Invest Sri Lanka forums, held in those countries.”
He pointed out that ICC Sri Lanka and CSE had been able to build a strong working relationship with the Singapore Business Federation that had assisted to reach out to the investment community in Singapore in 2018 and 2019.
Abeywardena said the mandate of ICC Sri Lanka was more important now than ever, as Sri Lanka was tasked with rebuilding and emerging from what has been a challenging few months.