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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2588

Formalization of Regional Business Community collaborations with Colombo Business leaders

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 05 September, ( The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) premier chamber set up in 1839, today is a strong confederation of regional and sectoral chambers of commerce and industry, trade associations, employer organizations and bilateral business councils and it has granted affiliated membership to the Business for Peace Alliance. (BPA).

The BPA, Sri Lanka’s regional business network for regional empowerment, conflict transformation and Corporate Social Responsibility was established five years ago by the regional chambers throughout Sri Lanka. The BPA is a “bottom up initiative”, owned and managed exclusively by the regional business community. The BPA, which operated informally over the last four years, was institutionalised in September 2006 and set up a Secretariat in Colombo to co-ordinate its activities in all parts of the island.

Mahen Dayananda, Chairman, CCC said that it has been closely associating with BPA and collaborated with BPA in organizing some important join projecs with significant impact. The BPA has also been represented in some of the CCC’s sub committees including the Peace and Reconciliation sub committee and the Public Awareness sub committee. He said that since BPA has institutionalized itself, they felt that it was fitting that CCC should also formalize its associations with BPA b;y granting affilicated membership to BPA in the CCC.

He said that CCC placed importance on addressing the current initiatives connected with the process of peace and reconciliation and BPA’s efforts at regional level complemented the efforts of the CCC in this context.

BPA Chairman, Mr H Wijeyanandana, Chairman, BPA said that their network now comprises twenty five (25) regional business chambers in all the provinces in Sri Lanka. The membership of two of these chambers is made up exclusively of women in business and said that there is tremendous marginalization of the regional business community. The traditional “Colombo centric approach” has not been a successful model for economic growth and national development.

Though the raw materials and work is done in the regions, decisions are made in Colombo. Now BPA is developing their own leadership skills and business skills. He said that many issues affecting the regions are common, whether they are from the North, South or other parts.

- Asian Tribune -

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