Financial Times

Lankan Regional Chamber Presidents’ Conference in Sri Lanka

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) is organising the first ever Regional Chamber Presidents’ Conference in Anuradhapura on October 11 under the patronage of Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake.

The keynote address will be delivered by Sri Suraj Prasad Agarwal, President, Federation of Andra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Opening remarks will be by Kosala Wickramanayake, FCCISL President and the welcome address will be by the President of the Host Chamber – Amal Piyathilaka, President, Anuradhapura Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to an FCCISL press release.

The prime objective of the initiative is to assure fast growth, infuse vitality and strengthen the inter linkages among Regional Chambers and development of Chamber movement in Sri Lanka which would automatically ensure the development of the country’s economy, with special emphasis to rural economies, the release said.

Samantha Abeywickrama, Secretary General/CEO, FCCISL said that the conference is all about bringing up regional business and economic issues, to deliberate and collectively bring to the notice of the policy makers. At the end of the event a declaration would be prepared as an outcome and brought to the notice of the President, the Cabinet of Ministers and the provincial authorities. The main areas of concern such as regional infrastructure, business environment, peace and security and various other issues would be taken into discussion during this one day conference.

He further said that the FCCISL, as the creator of the Regional Chamber Network in Sri Lanka, would facilitate this initiative in order to develop vertical as well as horizontal linkages between regional business community and authorities both at national and regional levels. The conference would be attended by all 28 Regional Chambers of Commerce in Sri Lanka.

Amal Piyatilleka, President of the Anuradhapura Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) said that this was a much awaited event and a dream come true, as a platform to discuss longstanding issues with fellow Presidents of Regional Chambers.

He said the ACCI as the initiator of this important event is proud to host the inaugural conference in Anuradhapura, a city which played a significant role in the country’s history. He further said that it would be an important step in creating awareness with the local authorities the underlying concept of the Chamber Movement in Sri Lanka.

The specific purposes of this exercise are: a) to showcase the collective strength of the chambers; b) to create an opportunity to broaden expertise, forge new ideas and relationships; c) to create a venue for peer learning skill sharing and knowledge exchange; d) to create an opportunity to open up a dialogue among core people who are the flag bearers of chamber movement around the country; e) to identify overlapping issues affecting business community to create a platform for lobbying and f) to explore pooling of resources for economy of operations.

Chamber Presidents’ Conferences will jointly be organized by the FCCISL and the particular Regional Chamber through an organizing committee comprising the officials of the two institutions. FCCISL will play an overseeing and advisory role in implementing this concept. Each summit so organized in the regions would be chaired by the Presidents of the Chamber where the sessions are held and they are expected to be held annually on rotation basis.

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