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Sri Lanka business chamber launches trade awareness initiative

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has launched a platform to enhance the awareness level of its members on the country’s trade policies, after a survey found knowledge was woefully lacking.

The initiative, called ‘Trade Intelligence for the Private Sector’ or ‘TIPS’, will focus on the CCC’s engagements on trade policy issues under a common umbrella, a statement said.

 “We recognised that Chamber members and the wider business community are interested in, and concerned about, the implications of trade liberalisation and trade agreements on their activities,” said Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist of the CCC.

“They want more insight and intelligence to help them navigate these changes. We realised that the Chamber is already engaging in many activities that already do this, and the TIPS initiative focuses and expands these efforts in order to have more of an impact.”

The CCC said that, despite concerns on how trade liberalisation would change the status quo for existing businesses, there is widespread support for forging more trade pacts, recognising their potential to boost market access for exports, as well as Sri Lanka’s attractiveness to investors.

According to the participants surveyed at the concluded Sri Lanka Economic Summit, which was organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, an overwhelming majority of them (70%) agreed that ‘economic and trade agreements with partner countries would boost Sri Lanka’s economy’. Only 2% disagreed, while 28% were undecided.

The ‘TIPS’ initiative will include existing and new reports on trade policy issues, information and data bulletins on trade trends; seminars, workshops and trainings on trade issues.

It also aims to bring in the voice of the members to influence trade agreements.

“Through the TIPS initiative, the Chamber will also bring in expert resource persons to deliver strategic insights on trade issues to the members, in cooperation with international organisations,” the statement said.

“The CCC will also leverage on the TIPS initiative in its engagements with the government, foreign missions, bilateral and multilateral organisations, and the wider business community.”
(COLOMBO, August 22, 2016)





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