Pettah merchants to expand domain, vie for global trade | Daily News

Pettah merchants to expand domain, vie for global trade

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (second from right) receives a CBA souvenir from CBA Chief Secretary Chaminda Vidanagamage (far left) as the President of CBA, Dr. D. Venkateshwara (second from left) and State Minister Buddhika Pathirana (far right) look on at the launch of Pettah Fiesta on 10 August.

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (second from right) receives a CBA souvenir from CBA Chief Secretary Chaminda Vidanagamage (far left) as the President of CBA, Dr. D. Venkateshwara (second from left) and State Minister Buddhika Pathirana (far right) look on at the launch of Pettah Fiesta on 10 August.

The Colombo Business Association (CBA) which consists of retail and wholesale merchants and traders of ‘Pettah Market hub’ is vying for a bigger domain as the organisation plans to ink many Chamber-to-Chamber MoU’s and also to venture into global trade. “Once we link with the Chambers by affiliation, we will go to international affiliations,” President of Colombo Business Association (CBA) Dr. D. Venkateshwara said.

Dr. Venkateshwara was speaking after the launch of Pettah Fiesta 2019 in Colombo on Saturday joined by the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen, State Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Buddhika Pathirana and other officials.

“Many people think that Pettah trade is only confined to pavement hawkers and peddlers which is far from its real strength. We, the Colombo Business Association (CBA) are a 55,000-member strong trade focal point centred around Pettah and Colombo Fort markets”.

“We are the largest Chamber of retail businesses in Sri Lanka and we also have wholesale trade members. The membership of CBA constitutes 23 business and trade associations around the country and packs 55000 retail and wholesale businesses of all scales-from large to micro, most of them operating in Pettah and Colombo while many are also from other parts of the country such as Kurunegala, Kandy and Northern Province. Some of our members, despite known for dealing in retail, are also into import and export trade,” Dr. Venkateshwara said.

“As we expand and grow, our members call for a bigger role, recognition. The Pettah Fiesta 2019 is the first such special trade exhibition and carnival in the heart of Sri Lanka’s premier business hub in recent times and the first such trade fiesta in the 30 year history of CBA.

This is to promote the contribution of our members to the consumers and to revive their trade. Also as we have now grown to become a national level Chamber, and very soon CBA will be linking with the Chamber of Commerce though an MoU-negotiations have already begun in this regard. As a result, CBA will be an affiliated Chamber to it in a few weeks’ time”.

“ Once we link with the Chamber by affiliation, next we will go to international affiliation. We will be inking a pact with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) also for which talks are continuing at present. We expect to sign MoUs with them before this Christmas. Once we link with ICC, we will send our delegation to overseas and international retail delegations can also visit us in turn. These exchanges could transform our Pettah retail hub to an international business hub and elevate our membership’s profile”.

“These exchanges will not be restricted to FMCG segments but will expand to medical tourism, wellness/Ayurvedic tourism, agro sector, and infrastructure development.

We are not limiting ourselves to these Chambers only but are also directly and in parallel negotiating with foreign chambers even at this moment.

The overseas chambers we are talking to are the Turkish Chamber, and Chambers of Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. As soon as we conclude talks with them we will sign the MoUs at any moment.”

Today the Pettah market is Sri Lanka’s largest retail and wholesale hub, transacting an estimated US $ 3.5 Mn to $ 6 Mn in its trade, every day. 


 

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