The Sri Lanka-Russia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 17th Annual General Meeting virtually on 28 October 2020. Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka and to the Maldives Yuri BorisovichMateriy graced the occasion and addressed the online gathering as the patron of the Council.
While congratulating the newly-appointed executive committee for the period 2020-2021, Materiy stated, “Sri Lanka remains one of the key partners for Russia in South Asia. Our ties continue to deepen in many spheres. Further impetus to our relations was given by the positive results of the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov to Sri Lanka on 14 January, this year. In 2019 the volume of bilateral trade between Russia and Sri Lanka amounted to $ 400 million, with imports to Russia from Sri Lanka reaching $ 290 million. According to the Russian Customs statistics for eight months of this year the trade turnover has increased by 36% reaching $ 352.8 million.
“We consider that the Russian-Sri Lankan Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation can be instrumental in the development of our countries’ business ties. After the appointment of the Co-Chairman of the Commission by the Sri Lankan side there will be a good opportunity to hold its next meeting subject to the COVID situation.
“We noticed that some Sri Lankan companies are making efforts to increase tourists’ flow from Russia since it will help to revive the tourism sector in your country. We believe that once the COVID-19 situation normalises, the arrivals of tourists from Russia will increase significantly. Let me stress that the private sector in both our countries, including the members of this Council, remains the real driving force of our bilateral economic ties. The Russian Embassy is fully committed to fostering this cooperation and is always ready to assist in the establishment of business contacts. But I encourage you to take the initiative in your hands.
“In this context I would like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, the world’s very first adenovirus vector-based vaccine against COVID-19. The Russian Direct Investment Fund, entrusted with promoting the vaccine, is prepared for talks with international partners – the authorised and designated both government-owned agencies and private companies on joint manufacture of the vaccine and technology transfer with prospects of the export of the vaccine to other countries.”
Ambassador of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation Prof. M.D. Lamawansa joined the meeting virtually and congratulated the newly-appointed committee. He further stated that they will be working online with the inter-governmental commissions in both countries. He also suggested that since there are common interests by the Business Council and the Embassy to organise a meeting online to discuss all the aspects and an action plan for better bilateral business relationships for both countries.
Avian Technologies Ltd. Managing Director Buddika Liyanage will be serving as the re-elected President of the Council while Freight Links International Ltd. Managing Director NiralKadawatharatchie and Salota International Ltd. Managing Director Kolitha Wickremesinghe were elected as the Vice Presidents. BuddapriyaRamanayake of MOS Lanka Ltd. was elected as the Treasurer and South Asia Textile Industries Lanka Ltd. Chief Financial Officer Priyantha Hapuarachchi, is to join the committee in his capacity as the Immediate Past President for the period of 2020-2021.
The following companies were elected for the committee member positions: Imperial Tea Exports Ltd., Maharaja Organization Projects Ltd., MAC Holdings Ltd., Natures Beauty Creations Ltd.; Orifini Jewelers Ltd., Regency Teas Ltd., Rhino Roofing Products Ltd., Spillburg Holdings Ltd., and Uni Traders Ltd.
- Location Russia