Lionel Silva heads Sri Lanka-Canada Business Council

New office bearers: Seated from L-R: Ramya Weerakoon, Infotechs Limited, Committee Member; Sajith Rajapaksa, Vice President SLCBC; David McKinnon, High Commissioner for Canada; Lionel D C Silva, President SLCBC; Dinithi Dias, Manager Business Council, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Ong Jhon Seon, Vice President SLCBC; Harith Jayasuriya, Immediate Past President SLCBC. Standing from L-R: K. Kunendran, Abans PLC; Rajah Abeyasinghe, Hydromec International (Pvt) Ltd; Priyantha Chandrasekara, Thames International Educational; Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd; Suhayl Sangani, Ceylon Jewellery Manufacturers. Not in the Picture: Dr. Saroshi Dubash, Abans PLC.

The 28thAnnual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Canada Business Council (SLCBC) was held recently and Chairman, Lidechsi Group of Companies Lionel D C Silva, was elected as the President of the Council for the year 2019-2020.

The Chief Guest of the event was the High Commissioner for Canada, David McKinnon, the Patron of the Council. SLCBC was launched on 1991 under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The prime objectives of the Council are promotion of trade/ investment, services, tourism and joint ventures between Sri Lanka and Canada.

In his address Silva mentioned that “Sri Lanka, in my view, is yet to exploit its full potential to benefit from the growing economy of Canada. With the renewed development agenda between our two countries, your council will have to play an important role by lobbying our Government to create an enabling environment to speed up Canadian Investors in Sri Lanka as well as create the required awareness of the market opportunities that exist for Sri Lankan firms”.

The High Commissioner for Canada, David McKinnon stated that “Sri Lanka has been through turbulent times over the last nine months. It has had an impact on the economy, but the fundamental strengths of Sri Lanka remain an educated and resilient population, fantastic natural attributes and a strategic location astride major trade routes in the fastest growing region in the world.

If the government of Sri Lanka ensures an inclusive, welcoming, safe and stable environment, the private sector will drive recovery and growth, providing opportunities in all regions.

He further stated that Canadian business already has a strong presence in Sri Lanka across sectors as diverse as agriculture, garments, aerospace and financial services, with plenty of room to grow”.

Ong Jhon Seon, Prima Ceylon (Pvt) Limited and Sajith Rajapakse, Samsons Rubber Products (Pvt) Ltdwas elected as the Vice Presidents. Harith Jayasuriya, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd will serve as the Immediate Past President.

Abans PLC, Ceylon Jewellery Manufactures, Hydromec International (Pvt) Ltd, Infotechs (Pvt) Ltd and Thames Intl Educational Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.

The event provided an ideal opportunity for members to network with other Council Members, Embassy officials and other government Institutions.