Sri Lanka business chamber appeals for policy stability, good governance

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s top business chamber, has appealed for policy stability, good governance and transparency, saying it was keen to help government ‘get things done’ as many opportunities were lost owing to weak implementation.

Sri Lanka keeps getting a new lease of life every few years and right now has unprecedented support and goodwill from most countries of the world, said Samantha Ranatunga, chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

“ . . . but with all this support we seem to be quick to fritter opportunities away due to weak implementation,” he told the chamber’s 177th annual general meeting.

“The private sector is keen to partner with government to get things done,” he said. “Our globally competitive businesses have a lot to offer towards national economic development.

“But we need policy stability, good governance, and transparency to enable good partnerships between the government and business.”

Ranatunga, who was re-elected for a second year as chairperson, said the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce represents a private sector that’s increasingly anxious to “get things done” and whose members contributes about 60 per cent to the GDP of the country.

“We expect enlightened policies and we expect results.”

Ranatunga said the Chamber rules were amended last year to replace the three member Standing Committee ‘A’ with a nine member Board, of which four are Ex-officio members and five are elected members.

“In my view the new model has worked well,” he said.

The new model was adopted to ensure greater decision making power and transparency within the main committee while empowering the secretariat to carry out activities more independently.

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The new model of management provides for a CEO led secretariat deviating from the earlier model of a Chairman-led Secretariat.

Also re-elected were Rajendra Theagarajah and Hans Wijeysuriya as the Vice Chairperson and the Deputy Vice Chairperson of the CCC while shareholders also approved the continuation of the nine member ‘Board of Directors’.

Other members are Dhara Wijayatilake, CEO of the CCC, Hiran Cooray, Chairperson of the Jetwing Group, Vish Govindasamy, Group Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings PLC, SheamleeWickramasingha, Managing Director of Ceylon Biscuits Limited, Duminda Hulangamuwa, Partner – Head of Tax Services, Ernst and Young and Faizal Salieh, Director of HNB General Insurance.
(COLOMBO, June 30, 2016)

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