"Sri Lanka has overcome a difficult past and its the time to move forward,” Robert Stardy MEP
Business Leaders from across Europe joined in Brussels recently by a delegation of top businessmen from Sri Lanka for the launch of the EU - Sri Lanka Business Council (EUSLBC).
The Council was formed in November 2012 with the aim to foster co-operation in trade and investment between Sri Lanka and Europe. The launch event, part of a three day visit by Sri Lankan delegates, included speeches from key governmental and business figures, seminars on investment support and opportunities to build lasting links between European and Sri Lankan businesses present. Senior executives of the leading Sri Lankan companies namely; Balteau, Sri Lanka, Energy & Power Development Ltd, Sri Lanka, Expo Lanka Freight Limited, Orion Development (Pvt) Ltd, MTD Walkers Ltd, The Maharajah Organization Projects (Pte) Ltd and Ventura College pvt. Ltd, were included in the Sri Lanka Delegation. Sri Lanka Embassy in Brussels has facilitated the visit and the programme was coordinated by the European Chamber of Commerce in Colombo and Sovereign Strategy based in Brussels.
Speaking at the launch, Robert Sturdy MEP, Chair of EUSLBC, said “Sri Lanka has overcome a difficult past and it's the time to move forward and grow. In my work as the Vice Chairman on the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament, I have first-hand knowledge of the importance of business-to-business groupings, such as this one, in opening up markets and fostering increased trade and investment. There are many opportunities for business on both sides, as the EU is Sri Lanka's largest export destination, totalling 36% of Sri Lanka's exports as well as the EU being Sri Lanka's 3rd biggest import partner”.
P.M. Amza, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the EU, added “This is an excellent opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a place to do business, as well as building strong trade links between companies from Europe and Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan businesses have a lot to offer as well as a lot to learn from Europe and I hope this Business Council will move forward to furthering these links.”
Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP, Chairman of Friends of Sri Lanka Group in the European Parliament, said that "it is an opportunity for the businessmen from both countries to work towards the enhancement of trade between the two sides."
One of the key aims of the council is to bring together businesses and channel opportunities in Sri Lanka to European business. At the launch event, presentations on potential opportunities for partnership in energy, roads, railways, telecoms and other key Sri Lankan infrastructure projects were made by .R.D.S. Kumararatne, Minister (Commercial & Economic Affairs).
Following the launch of EUSLBC, the Sri Lanka delegation had the opportunity to participate in the Business workshop organized by the Flanders Investment & Trade on 20th February 2013. The workshop was aimed at having interactive session with the potential participants Flanders entrepreneurs in the proposed Trade Mission to Sri Lanka in May 2013.
- Asian Tribune –