Key reforms at Sri Lanka’s main business chamber

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s main business chamber, has introduced several reforms, limiting the term of its chairman and giving more autonomy to its secretariat.

Suresh Shah, outgoing Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, said that in future the roles of Chairperson, Board and Chief Executive will be akin to those of a private sector company.

“An organization such as the Chamber should not be driven by a decision making body that was essentially non-executive,” he said referring to the committee which had run the chamber’s affairs till now.

“It deserved to have hands on leadership so that it could grow as an organization and meet the expectations of its many stakeholders.”

Authority was now transferred from the office bearers to the Secretariat and a nine-member board has replaced the four-member committee.

The direction and agenda of the chamber will be set by the Chief Executive and the Secretariat.

“The Chamber Rules now restrict the Chairperson to two terms of a year each,” Shah said at the chamber’s annual general meeting.

“Previously, the restriction was by way of tradition. The immediate Past Chairperson will no longer be an office bearer. In a sense, we have had our own 19th amendment!”

Shah said the reforms were important and enable the Chamber to be “pro-active and move quickly.”
 

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