‘Promoting trade, tourism, investment, main objectives of SL – Korea Business Council’

Seated (L-R): Prof. Lakshman Watawala, Founder President; Mahen Kariyawasan, Immediate Past President; Lee Heon, Ambassador for the Republic of Korea in Sri Lanka; Priyantha Mendis, President; Ms. Dinithi Dias, Manager Business Councils; John Shiran Dissanayake, Vice President; Shamil Mendis, Vice President. Standing (L-R): Asitha Martis, Shipping & Cargo Logistics (Pvt) Ltd; Sangeeth Weliwattha, Senok Trade Combine (Pvt) Ltd; Aruna Perera, Lanka Shipping & Logistics (Pvt) Ltd; K. Kunendran, Abans Ltd; Gayan Maddumarachchi, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.

In 1982, the late Lalith Athulathmudali, the then Minister of Trade and Shipping, consequent to the visit to Korea with a business delegation in April 1982, mooted the formation of a Joint Economic Co-operation Committee between Sri Lanka and Korea. On July 8, 1982, the Korea – Sri Lanka Business Council was set up in Seoul, Korea under the aegis of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at the request of the Minister set up the Sri Lanka – Korea Business Council on 4th November 1982, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Priyantha Mendis, Managing Director, Alpha Tours (Pvt) Ltd. (General Sales Agent for Korean Air in Sri Lanka & Maldives) was elected as the President of the Council for the year 2019-2020. In his address Mr. Mendis reiterated that the main objectives of the Council is to promote trade and tourism between Sri Lanka and Korea, to promote investment to Sri Lanka and encourage joint ventures, and to conduct joint meetings with Korean business organizations between the two countries.

“For the past 13 years, the Korean Government has offered employment opportunities to our youth in the Manufacturing, Construction & Fisheries Sectors in Korea. At present there are around 30,000 Sri Lankans living in Korea, the biggest concentration of SL expatriate employees after Middle East.  But compared to the Middle East and other countries, the earning capacity and living standards much higher in Korea,” said Mr. Mendis.

Further he stated, since the commencement of Korean Air direct flights to Colombo, the Korean Tourist arrivals jumped to around 16,000 from 4,000 few years back.

The President also thanked Mahen Kariyawasan, Immediate Past President who severed for 10 years as the President of SLKBC and the Founder President, Prof. Lakshman Watawala for their continuous contribution to the business council.

John Shiran Dissanayake, Chairman, Transmarine (Pvt) Ltd. and Shamil Mendis, Chairman/ Managing Director, Spear International (Pvt) Ltd. were elected as Vice Presidents of the Council.

Abans Ltd., Lanka Shipping & Logistics (Pvt) Ltd., MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., Senok Trade Combine (Pvt) Ltd., Southern Tea Producers (Pvt) Ltd. and Shipping & Cargo Logistics (Pvt) Ltd. were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.

Further details regarding membership of the Council could be obtained from the Secretariat of the Sri Lanka – Korea Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, No. 50, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 2. E-mail: dinithi@chamber.lk or Tel.: 011-5588861, 5588800.