Sri Lanka – Maldives Business Council (SLMLBC) of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 11th Annual General Meeting on July 24 with Omar Abdul Razzak, Ambassador from the Embassy of the Republic of Maldives as the chief guest.
Council President Devdinda Lorensuhewa welcomed the chief guest, members and the invitees. A copy of the annual report was presented to Ambassador Omar Abdul Razzak. Mr. Lorensuhewa emphasized that during the year 2018/19 Sri Lanka – Maldives Business Council has organized some events and initiatives, with the motive of delivering value addition to the membership.
The key highlights were the support extended by the Ceylon Chamber to organize the Business Forum which was held in Colombo during Maldivian President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih visited in February 2019, the launch of the SLMBC website, and the Business and Investment Promotion Mission to the Maldives last July.
Ambassador Omar Abdul Razzak congratulated the newly elected President, Vice Presidents and other Committee Members and said:
“Sri Lanka holds a special place in our hearts as we approach our 54th Independence Day, since it was here in Sri Lanka that our Independence Agreement was signed. We express our sincere gratitude to all Sri Lankans, Sri Lankan leaders past and present, who contributed to this great buildup of our relations.
“The Maldives and Sri Lanka share close bonds of friendship that dates back to time immemorial. The historic bonds of friendship are being augmented through cooperation in many sectors, such as education, fisheries, tourism, trade and investment.
“Sri Lanka has always been a trusted neighbour and a dear friend that lends its support and assistance towards all our developmental efforts. We look to further consolidating our close ties of friendship and cooperation through fostering partnerships in development. I am confident that the strong ties of trade, cultural relations, people-to people ties and cross-border investment will continue to prosper during the tenure of President His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
“For centuries we have shared deep similarities so much so, many Maldivians feel Sri Lanka as their second home. Sri Lanka has always welcomed Maldivians and gave refuge when needed. No wonder we visit each other so often and find it easy to do business with one another. Trade between our two countries has been increasing steadily year after year, exports from Sri Lanka to Maldives is always on an upward trend and vis versa.
“Today Sri Lankan organizations hold up to 15% of tourist beds in the Maldives. We are happy that leading Hoteliers and Hospitality Companies of Sri Lanka has confidence in Maldives and for increasing their involvement in the Economic Development of the Maldives. Maldives will always remain open for business and foreign investments. Day- by-day we try to remove trade barriers and facilitate trade as we are sincerely committed to foreign investments.
“The administration of HEP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, looks forward to welcoming more Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and investors to do business in the Maldives. We invite the Sri Lankan business community to further explore and take advantage of many existing business and investment opportunities. It is my wish to see Maldivian business community invest in various sectors of Sri Lanka and through commerce, help in some capacity to recover from the tangible and intangible losses related to the April 21 carnage and contribute for the Development of Sri Lanka”.
Aitken Spence Travels Limited, American Water Systems (Pvt) Ltd., Baltic Testing Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., CMA CGM Lanka, CDC Events and Travels (Pvt) Ltd., Eastern & Allied Agencies Ltd., Fright Links International Pvt Ltd., Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, Marine Transport Services (Pvt) Ltd., Nestle Lanka Plc, Puritas (Pvt) Ltd., Spillburg Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. were elected as the Committee for the year 2019/2020.