Apr 24, Colombo: Over 200 Commonwealth entrepreneurs converged to discuss trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka in London last week while the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 was taking place in the city.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka (DoCSL), commonwealth entrepreneurs attended the Sri Lanka breakfast networking session of Commonwealth Enterprise and Economic Council held on the sidelines of CHOGM18. The session was jointly facilitated by the Department of Commerce, EDB and London's Sri Lanka High Commission.
B2B meetings that followed the breakfast meeting provided the opportunity for members of the delegations to develop further into specific opportunities.
The business meeting opened a new window to explore partnership between Sri Lankan enterprises and the commonwealth business delegations from other to promote intra commonwealth Trade and investment.
During the opening remarks Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said: "We have been provided with a conducive environment to advance greater cooperation among commonwealth countries, as the trade and investment promotion has taken a center stage in our deliberations on creating a prosperous future for all, particularly with peace and stability in the country."
"The declaration on the commonwealth connectivity agenda for trade and investment aims to expand investment and boost intra commonwealth trade through dialogue among commonwealth members in the clusters of physical connectivity digital connectivity regulatory connectivity business to business connectivity and supply side connectivity," he added.
The main feature of the breakfast meeting was that the national brand for the Sri Lanka ICT/BPM sector "Island of Ingenuity" was launched during the event.
Chairman of Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) Ruwindhu Peiris, and SLASSCOM Executive Director Chrishan de Mel highlighted availability and access to top engineering talent, creativity, resourcefulness and a collaborative/partner mentality to co-innovate solutions to differentiate Sri Lanka from other locations. Presentations were also made by Rohan Masakorala on Maritime Industry and Boat Building.
"The boat building industry is one which can transform the economic landscape of the country since it is linked to vital economic activities that will grow in importance in the decades to come such as fisheries, tourism, offshore oil and gas exploration and export of boats, ships and bunkering. Therefore Sri Lanka welcomes and facilitates investments in this vital area. "
President of the Gem and Jewellery Association of Sri Lanka Imthisham in his presentation highlighted the opportunities in this sector and invited commonwealth members to attend FACETS 2018.
During the Q&A session Ministers Rishad Bathiudeen and Mangala Samaraweera spoke of the new investment flexibilities introduced to become a modern trading hub in the Indian Ocean.