Lanka, a key trading partner in South Asia – Malaysian HC
The Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 27th annual general meeting virtually.
The Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Tan Yang Thai, was the guest of honor. Khalid Farouk has been elected as the new President of the Business Council for 2021/2022.
Outgoing SLMBC Chairman Keerthi Jayasuriya said, âWhen we took office as Chairman of the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council, we hoped to make a contribution to improving trade relations between our two countries, which would even help. a little to minimize the imbalance of trade between the two countries.
âHowever, I had no idea that Covid was around the corner with its own program. Under the circumstances, we did what was possible. The Council hosted a few webinars that we believe would benefit the business community and we helped four entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic restart their businesses through a microfinance program. The Board continued and improved CSR activities. The most notable being the donation of a BiPAP machine to Kegalle General Hospital, âhe said.
Ambassador Tan Yang Thai said, âI am glad that SLMBC has been handed over to a capable hand and a long-time friend from Malaysia. Right now we are going through a very difficult time.
Many businesses have been hit hard and the global economy is suffering tremendously. I think we have to think outside the box, be more adventurous and innovative to overcome these challenges.
âWe must strive to continue to strengthen economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
My colleagues and I at the Office of the High Commissioner are always ready to assist you in this regard. Despite the constant threat of the covid-19 pandemic for the past year and a half, we have managed to organize a few important events. It gives me great pleasure to affirm the close cooperation that exists between the SLMBC and the High Commission.
I have the fervent hope that after the full opening of the borders of our two countries, we will continue where we left off.
âThere are vast economic opportunities and sectors in Sri Lanka and Malaysia that have remained untapped. We need to do our best to bring in trade delegations and organize meetings with potential business partners. SLMBC must continue to be the bridge between the business sectors of our two countries, âhe said.
âBilateral trade between our two countries continues to be severely affected due to the covid-19 pandemic. Malaysia’s total bilateral trade with Sri Lanka reached a record high of $ 929.1 million in 2019, growing 19.3%, which is the highest in the South Asian region for this year. However, due to the pandemic, total bilateral trade for 2020 has declined significantly to just over $ 600 million. Having said that, I would like to re-emphasize that Malaysia still views Sri Lanka as an important trading and investment partner in the South Asian region, âthe Ambassador said.
For the period 2021-2022: Khalid Farouk, Managing Partner, Ilham Inspiration was elected President of SLMBC, while Mohamed Hameez, Managing Director, Spillburg Holdings and HsinHaw Li, Business Development Manager, Public Bank Berhad were elected Vice-Presidents. Keerthi Jayasuriya, President and CEO of International Scholar Educational Services (Pvt) Ltd, will be the past president.
The elected committee will be represented by Amana Bank, Acorn Aviation, Aitken Spence Shipping, FMG Plastic, Flexicare Lanka, Mansoor Gems and Softlogic City Hotels.