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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2620

113th Anniversary German Asia-Pacific Business Association in Bremen, Germany

Berlin, 29 March, (Asiantribune.com):

The German Asia-Pacific Business Association in Bremen celebrated its 113th Anniversary recently with Ambassador of Sri Lanka Mr. Sarath Kongahage as Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker.

The German Asia-Pacific Business Association is a strong network of German business companies in the fields of trade, industry, banking and small and medium size enterprises with activities in the Asia Pacific region. The Association works on the promotion of bilateral economic relationships between Germany and the Asia-Pacific Region.

The Association was founded in 1901 by 12 merchants, who had spent several years in Asia. Their intention was to treasure the memories of the time they spent in Asia and cultivate the relations with these countries. The Association started with 12 members, but recently the number of members has increased to more than 500. The members are from various background including political personalities of Germany, traders, entrepreneurs, industrials holders, bankers, academics and scientists, most of whom have a business- or academic connection with Asian countries.

As Sri Lanka and Germany celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Association invited the Ambassador of Sri Lanka for Germany, Sarath Kongahage, as Guest of Honor and to deliver the keynote speech on the occasion of the 113 anniversary of the association at the old town hall of Bremen.

The Mayer of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and President of the Senate, Mr. Jens Böhrnsen, welcomed ambassadors from Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines and Japan. The ambassadors signed the Golden Book at the 625-years-old historical museum in Bremen along with other ambassadors.

Mr. Arend Vollers, the President of the Association, who has more than 60 years of relations with Sri Lanka, presided over the event. After briefing the audience about the keynote speaker, the President invited the Ambassador to deliver the keynote speech.

In his keynote address, the Ambassador briefed the audience on the historical connections between Sri Lanka and European countries and also referred to the long-term business relationship between Sri Lanka and Germany, which goes beyond the 60 years of the diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and Germany. Germany is Sri Lanka's second largest investor from the European Union and has been a vibrant export market for high-quality Sri Lankan products.

Sri Lanka witnessed a steady and positive progress after the end of the internal conflict, the Ambassador said, adding that the country needed more investment and trade from Germany. The country had identified the five hubs of aviation, maritime, knowledge, energy and commercial, while tourism also has tremendous scope for investment, the ambassador added.

The informative keynote address encompassed the historical connections of Sri lanka with European countries, the reconciliation process and potentials of Sri Lanka for trade and investment and was well received by the audience with standing ovations.

An impressive brochure compiled and printed by Mr. Arend Vollers, the president of the Association containing the early photograph of Ceylon depicting the early connection of Germany with Sri Lanka was distributed to the guest. The invitation carried the rare photo of Ruwanwelisaya Dageba.

Hon. Consul of Sri Lanka for Bremen Mr.Thomas Kriwat who is a executive member of the Association as well as the former Hon. Consuls of Sri Lanka attended the event.

A traditional sit down dinner consisted of rice and curry accompanied by exotic Asian ingredients were served at the event. The guests were wearing black suit and white shirt with black bow, which is the 113 years tradition of attire of the members for attending the event.

- Asian Tribune -

113th Anniversary German Asia-Pacific Business Association in Bremen, Germany
113th Anniversary German Asia-Pacific Business Association in Bremen, Germany
113th Anniversary German Asia-Pacific Business Association in Bremen, Germany
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