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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2585

CCC Business Councils to foster bilateral trade

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 21 April, (Asiantribune.com): The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in its quest for promoting bilateral trade and investment has been instrumental in establishing several Business Councils during its history of 169 years. These councils form a vital link for the CCC in promoting trade, investment, joint ventures, tourism and services between Sri Lanka and the partner country.

Business councils are set up by the Chamber in collaboration with either the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Trade and they are serviced or sponsored by a leading counterpart chambers in the relevant countries so that they are recognized locally and internationally. The bilateral country councils can have a powerful impact in promoting exports and/or attracting investment by functioning as a reliable contact point, providing opportunities for meetings, building up of mutual confidence and focusing attention on particular areas of concern.

CCC acts as a counterpart Chamber and provides secretarial services for 19 Bi-lateral business councils. The first such business council established by the Chamber way back in 1979 is the Sri Lanka-Japan Business Co-operation Committee and the latest addition is Sri Lanka-Maldives business council set up in 2007. Other councils operating under the Ceylon Chamber cover Korea, Nordic, Indonesia, Pakistan, Canada, Benelux, Malaysia, Australia-New Zealand, Singapore, Italy, Poland, China, Russia, France and India.

In addition the Chamber has also set up Sri Lanka-Iran Business Interest Group and at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Chamber is exploring the possibility of forming Business Councils in the Middle Eastern region and Libya. Each council is a specialized body in dealing with business matters concerning the partner country and visits are exchanged between councils for better understanding.

Specialized services are provided by the business councils such as organizing inward/outward trade and investment promotion missions, organizing trade fairs/exhibitions, interactive fellowship/business meetings with counterpart business partners, recognition awards, preparation of trade statistics, preparation of newsletters, creation of websites, organizing meetings with overseas representatives visiting Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan representatives posted overseas and luncheon /breakfast meetings with eminent speakers.

The Business councils as part of their regular activities issue circulars on current information/ trade fairs/trade inquiries/publications and periodicals, letters of introduction to counterpart chambers and facilitate the issue of visas. The Councils also provide value added services such as preparation of market studies.

- Asian Tribune -

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