June 14, Colombo: The High Commission of Canada, as Patron of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council (SLCBC), hosted the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SLCBC on 13 June 2017.
A key stakeholder in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Canada, the SLCBC operates under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and engages with the High Commission of Canada to further enhance trade ties between the two countries.
The High Commissioner of Canada, Ms. Shelley Whiting, speaking at the event said the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council has been a longstanding partner of the High Commission in promoting Trade.
"I look forward to innovative initiatives that will showcase the Council's activities in Sri Lanka and add value to its membership," she said.
The High Commissioner further noted the strength and the depth of relationship between the two countries, the market potential in Sri Lanka and the country's growth and the opportunities to further trade ties.
Addressing the members, the newly elected President Harith Jayasuriya, Director/Chief Marketing Officer, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd thanked the outgoing President Chandev Abhayaratne, for the immense contribution made towards the growth of Sri Lanka Canada Business Council during the last 2 years.
Mr. Jayasuriya highlighted the Council's main objectives as to promote Bilateral Trade, Investment, Technical & Economic Co-Operation, Tourism and Services between Sri Lanka and Canada. He further stressed the need for SLCBC to take leadership in promoting investment and trade initiatives between Sri Lanka and Canada.
The AGM was followed by a networking reception for the local business community, stakeholders in the government and international organizations.
The key note address of the evening was delivered by Ms. Jeevani Siriwardena, Director General of the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka on the agreement between the EDB with Canada's Trade Facilitation Office (TFO).
TFO is a non-government organization in Canada working to source products from developing countries, such as Sri Lanka, and supporting small and medium scale enterprises. The presentation focussed on the nature of the agreement, opportunities such as market orientation programs and market visits, and how Sri Lankan companies can avail themselves of the benefits of the agreement.
The membership of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council is comprised of approximately 60 companies across diverse sectors such as logistics and tourism, imports, exports, manufacturing and services amongst many others. The primary focus of the Council is to facilitate trade between Sri Lanka and Canada, encourage partnerships, exchange of information between the two countries and promote investments. The Business Council also engages with partner organizations in Canada to promote the socio-economic conditions in Sri Lanka.
The event is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of the Canadian High Commission in Sri Lanka. The TCS is the Canadian government's network of Trade professionals that promotes Canadian goods and services, facilitates innovation and R&D, as well as builds networks between Sri Lanka and Canada.