British HC advocates freer trade, less protectionism | Daily News

British HC advocates freer trade, less protectionism

Bilateral Trade and Investment Report to be launched
James Dauris
James Dauris

British High Commissioner James Dauris has proposed five suggestions that would give a boost to Sri Lanka development plan at a recent meeting of Council for Business with Britain (CBB).

The first was that each person had to play a responsible role in encouraging and fostering a favourable climate for entrepreneurial activity and for companies needed to establish and follow principled standards. The second was to promote professionalism, and enhance the level of integrity and ethical business conduct, while pushing the same for the government.

“Freer trade, lower barriers, less protectionism, more dependable enforcement of contracts, simpler property registration rules are some of the keys,” he elaborated.His third recommendation was to encourage competition.

The fourth was to beat competition by living up to high global standards.

The High Commissioner’s fifth and final recommendation was on the importance of being supportive.

“As senior business managers and leaders, you have key roles to play in holding the government and others to account. Hand in hand with this responsibility goes a responsibility for supporting the government, for sharing the good advice you can give that will inform wise decision-making, for standing with the government when it wants to take sensible steps but is meeting opposition,” he said.

The High Commissioner also asked those present to consider what people in their positions can do to speed the development of a more favourable business climate in Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka was ranked 100th out of 190 in last year’s World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index. That’s to say that it wasn’t in the top half which, I’m sure we’ll all agree, is where it needs to be,” he observed.

Dauris was the Chief Guest at the 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the CBB which was held at Westminster House and presided by Mark Prothero, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Prothero acknowledged that the last nine months were difficult times for Sri Lanka, especially with the Constitutional Crisis and the Easter Sunday attacks. He noted that the economy was showing resilience, though suggested it would take 12 to 15 months for tourism and leisure to rebound.

Speaking about the CBB’s forward plans, he said, the Council will soon launch the Bilateral Trade and Investment Report, which will encourage bilateral trade between the two countries.

The report was prepared with insight from the CBB membership.


Council for Business with Britain hosts 19th AGM

The 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council for Business with Britain (CBB), was conducted at Westminster House recently. The office bearers include Vice President - Roshanie Jayasundera Moraes, Executive Vice President, John Keells Holdings Plc; Vice President - Carl Cruz, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka; Treasurer: Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, Group Managing Director, Inter Air and Sea Logistics (Pvt) Ltd.

The CBB’s committee members are as follows: Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt) Ltd, Vice President, Prasanjit Perera, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sivakrishnarajah Renganathan, Etihad Airways, General Manager, R Dougie Douglas, Finlays Colombo Limited, Deputy Chairman/Country Head, Gihan Jayasinghe, Hayleys PLC, Director, Sarath Ganegoda, Hilton Colombo Residences, General Manager, Linda Giebing, Hirdaramani (Industries) Ltd., Director, Nikhil Hirdaramani, MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Chief Operating Officer, Shirendra Lawrence, Norfolk Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Director, Ameena M Ziauddin, Oceanpick (Pvt) Ltd, Managing Director Irfan Thassim and Cherryl Rodrigo, Assistant Secretary-General will represent the Secretariat of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

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