From Left Kulla Sellathurai, Sugumar Ganesan, Irene Mathyssen NDP MP London-Fanshawe, Chandrakanth Arya Liberal MP Nepean, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, Yasmin Ratansi Liberal MP for Don Valley East and Chair of Canada Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group, Faizer Mustapha Sri Lanka Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, and Stan Muthulingam.
Canada Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship and a group of expatriate business people based in Canada visited Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy and Trincomalee.
In Colombo they held meetings with President Maithripala Sirisena, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, several other cabinet ministers and the Board of Investment (BOI), and other local officials in Colombo, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Kandy.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board(EDB) organized a special business forum to help the visiting Canadian business delegation to familiarize the business opportunities available in Sri Lanka and also enable them to establish business ties with Sri Lankan counterparts.
As requested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the forum was followed by a B2B meeting which was held at the EDB auditorium at the Nawam Mawatha. The Canadian delegation with 21 top businessmen, headed by Canadian MPs – Yasmin Abdulla Karim Ratansi, Chandrakanth Arya, and Irene Mathysen, and around 80 Sri Lankan business people participated at the forum.
Speaking on this occasion, Mrs. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson & CE of EDB, Sri Lanka, stressed the importance of building trade ties with Canada and also highlighted the various trade opportunities available to the Canadian Businessmen in Sri Lanka.
Further she stated that, the EDB was launching a programme to develop 2,000 new entrepreneurs who will enter the export market by 2020 and that it will be beneficial to the Sri Lanka an economy. This programme is aimed at training and harnessing potential entrepreneurs living in the interior regions of Sri Lanka
Ms. Malwatte requested the Canadian delegates to open partnerships with the EDB to develop these new entrepreneurs by extending their support to enter the Canadian market.
Addressing the Business Forum Head of the Canadian delegation, MP Yasmin Abdulla Karim Ratansi stated that this will be a valuable initiative to enable the fullest collaboration of Canadian diaspora to develop trade between Sri Lanka and Canada .
Canadian Business delegates, most of whom are visiting Sri Lanka after a lapse of many years, highlighted the conducive business environment prevailing at present in Sri Lanka, for the opening of export businesses between Sri Lanka and Canada.
The Canadian delegation also had fruitful discussions with Sri Lankan companies in the sectors of processed food, metal processing, electronics and electrical components, gems & jewellery, real estate and construction at the B2B meeting programme.
In the effort to further developing trade with Canada, EDB has also commenced a programme with the help of the trade facilitation office in Canada to access the Canadian market and capacity building for the Sri Lankan export community. In addition the EDB is organizing Sri Lankan participation at SIAL Canada International trade fair in May for exploring market opportunities in Canada for Sri Lanka’s exports.