Sept 19, London: The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) announced this month the appointment of Niro Cooke to its Board. Cooke, a respected Sri Lankan professional, is at present the youngest Board member appointed to the statutory board of the CWEIC.
CWEIC is the Commonwealth’s business network. Founded in 2014, it has over 90 business and government Strategic Partners from 27 countries and territories. CWEIC’s mandate is to facilitate trade and investment through the 54-member nations of the Commonwealth and it does so via strategic partnerships with some of the Commonwealth’s largest and most innovative businesses.
Niro Cooke is an entrepreneur at heart and a Group Director on the Main Board of The Capital Maharaja Organization, Sri Lanka’s largest privately-owned conglomerate. He is actively involved in facilitating inward investment and developing large scale government infrastructure and energy projects in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
On the CWEIC Board, he will join luminaries such as Lord Marland, Chairman of the CWEIC and formerly the Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Trade Envoy for Prime Minister David Cameron from 2011-2014. Other Board members include distinguished members from the Commonwealth community. Deputy Chairman Sir Hugo Swire, KCMG served in David Cameron’s first Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. CEO Samantha Cohen (CVO) was formerly Assistant and Deputy Private Secretary to Her Majesty The Queen for eight years, after serving as her Press Secretary.
They are joined by Chairman of Inclusive Ventures Mohammed Amersi, Chair of the Malta International Art Space Phyllis Muscat, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners Babatunde Soyoye.
With Lord Marland’s leadership, the Board provides strategic guidance to direct the CWEIC mandate and work, which includes hosting the Commonwealth Business Forums, facilitating more business within the Commonwealth, working closely with Governments, and building close relationships with key investor nations outside the Commonwealth.
Samantha Cohen, Chief Executive of CWEIC, said: "We are delighted to welcome Mr Cooke to the CWEIC Board. Members of our Board represent CWEIC’s network of Strategic Partners and work on their behalf with governments and businesses across the Commonwealth. Mr Cooke’s extensive business experience and expertise will enhance the value we offer to our membership.”
Niro is an advocate for sustainable development and says that his vision is to transform the Sri Lankan economy into a competitive and sustainably industrialized one that adds value to the supply chain regionally and globally. He says, “Being appointed to the CWEIC Board is a true privilege. As a Sri Lankan, I hope to supplement the Board’s strategic vision with fresh perspective on what Commonwealth nations like ours truly require to become globally competitive.”
He will be busy during his tenure. CWEIC will host the Commonwealth Business Forum next year alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda, with the event due to bring together business and political leaders from across the Commonwealth.
The CWEIC also recently launched their Tourism Bounce Back campaign to boost the sector as the world emerges from lockdown; this includes an initiative to promote Sri Lanka’s own ‘Love Local’ tourism campaign. Through this period, CWEIC has hosted exclusive webinars for members with government and business leaders, and in late September will host a webinar of the garment and textiles industry with key representatives from the region.