Council for Business with Britain to strengthen UK-SL trade corridor | Daily News


 

Council for Business with Britain to strengthen UK-SL trade corridor

CBB Committee for 2020/21 from L to R, Dinithi Dias, Sarath Ganegoda, Lisa Whanstall, Indika Abeykoon, Dougie Douglas, Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, Shaameel Mohideen, Ameena Ziaudeen, Mark Prothero, Arjuna Nanayakkara, Roshanie Jayasundera Moraes, Gihan Jayasinghe, Irfan Thassim, Linda Giebing, S Renganathan, Hajar Alafifi, Asanthi Fernando and Shirendra Lawrence

CBB Committee for 2020/21 from L to R, Dinithi Dias, Sarath Ganegoda, Lisa Whanstall, Indika Abeykoon, Dougie Douglas, Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, Shaameel Mohideen, Ameena Ziaudeen, Mark Prothero, Arjuna Nanayakkara, Roshanie Jayasundera Moraes, Gihan Jayasinghe, Irfan Thassim, Linda Giebing, S Renganathan, Hajar Alafifi, Asanthi Fernando and Shirendra Lawrence

The 20th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council for Business with Britain (CBB) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce was conducted on August 27, and Executive Vice President, John Keells Holdings PLC Roshanie Moraes, became the first woman to be elected as the President.

“Moving forward our efforts will primarily be focused on enhancing business and trade between the UK and Sri Lanka as part of wider Government-led efforts to support the post-COVID economic revival. We believe that women will also play a greater role in driving this recovery, and to that end, we will also be launching an initiative to improve female labour force participation and gender parity across Sri Lanka’s business environment,” she stated.

Exports to the UK from SL is around USD 1 billion and imports from the UK, around USD 370 million. The UK is one of the two largest apparel buyers from SL.

Commenting on developments during his tenure, outgoing President, Mark Prothero, CEO of HSBC, Sri Lanka & Maldives said: “As we all know, it has been an unfortunate and difficult period for Sri Lanka with two “Black Swan” events in a row in 2019 and 2020 which brought with it unprecedented challenges to our economy and particular hardship for our Tourism and Leisure sector.

“However, it is encouraging to see that despite these unique challenges, there are other sectors of Sri Lanka’s export economy which have rebounded sharply in a strong v-shaped recovery. This serves as one of many indicators as to the resilience of the Sri Lankan people and we can be confident that under a united President and Government there is still a strong opportunity for Sri Lanka to develop and prosper in the years ahead,” he said.

Over the past year, CBB organised multiple discussions and events focused on relevant and timely topics. Additionally, the council has also been actively supporting the training of English Language in partnership with the British Council for over 15 years. During this time, the CBB has funded the training of 2,300 teachers countrywide and positively impacted over 300,000 students.

Reading a statement issued on behalf of High Commissioner to Sri Lanka from the UK, Sarah Hulton, Lisa Whanstall, Deputy High Commissioner for the UK said: “I look forward to working closely in the year ahead to support UK businesses in this challenging time.

I understand that we have a first for the CBB on the gender representation front, which is also very exciting, and I am keen to explore activities and initiatives around this as well.” The 2020/21 committee comprises of Linda Giebing, General Manager, Hilton Colombo Residences and Ameena Ziauddin – Development Director, Norfolk Foods as Vice Presidents, Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, MD, Inter Air & Sea Logistics, as the Treasurer and Mark Prothero, CEO, HSBC Sri Lanka & Maldives as the Immediate Past President.

Newly appointed committee members include Shirendra Lawrence, COO, MAS Holdings, Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson, Unilever Sri Lanka, Sarath Ganegoda, Director, Hayleys PLC, S Renganathan, MD, Commercial Bank, Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group, Arjuna Nanayakkara, Head of Shared Services, London Stock Exchange Group SL, Irfan Thassim, MD, Oceanpick, Dougie Douglas, Country Manager, Etihad Airways, Indika Abeykoon, GM, Aitken Spence Travels and Gihan Jayasinghe, MD, Finlays Group, SL.

Michael Fernandopulle, Head of Trade & Investment at the DIT, of the British High Commission, the Head of the British Council and Shaameel Mohideen, MD of Spillburg Holdings representing SMEs will be invitees to the Committee. Representatives from the BOI and the EDB to attend the meetings as invitees every quarter.


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