Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council’s 27th Annual General Meeting
The Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 27th Annual General Meeting virtually. High Commissioner of Malaysia to Sri Lanka Tan Yang Thai graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Khalid Farouk was elected as the new President of the Business Council for the year 2021/2022.
Welcoming distinguished guests and members, the outgoing President of SLMBC, Keerthi Jayasuriya said, “When I took office as President of the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council, we hoped to make some contribution towards further improving business ties between our two countries, which would go even some little way towards minimising the imbalance in trade between the two countries. However, little did I know, that COVID was around the corner with an agenda its own. Under the circumstances, we did what possible. The Council organised a few webinars, that we thought would benefit the business community and we supported four entrepreneurs who were affected by the pandemic to restart their business under a micro finance scheme. The Council continued and improved on the CSR activities, the most notable being the donation of a BiPAP Machine to Kegalle General Hospital.”
Tan Yang Thai congratulated the newly-appointed SLMBC Executive Committee and stated, “I am glad that SLMBC has been entrusted to an able hand and a long-term friend of Malaysia. Currently we are going through a very challenging time. Many businesses have been badly affected and the world economy is suffering tremendously. I believe we need to be thinking out of the box, be more adventurous and innovative in overcoming these challenges. We must strive to continue to further strengthen the economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Malaysia. My colleagues and I at the High Commission are always ready to lend our assistance to you in this regard. “Despite the constant threat of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past one and a half years, we have managed to organise a few important events. It gives me great pleasure to affirm the close cooperation that exists between SLMBC and the High Commission. It is my fervent hope that once both our two countries’ borders are totally opened, we will continue where we left off. There are vast opportunities and economic sectors in Sri Lanka and Malaysia which remained untapped. We should undertake our best efforts to bring trade delegations and organise meetings with potential business partners. SLMBC should continue to be the bridge between the business sectors of our two countries.”
“Bilateral trade between our two nations continues to be badly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysia’s total bilateral trade with Sri Lanka was at an all-time high of $ 929.1 million in 2019, with 19.3% growth, which is the highest in the South Asian region for that year. However, due to the pandemic, total bilateral trade for 2020 dropped significantly to reach slightly over $ 600 million. Having said that, I would like to re-emphasise that Malaysia still regards Sri Lanka as an important trade and investment partner in the South Asian region.”
For the period of 2021-2022; Ilham Inspiration Ltd. Managing Partner Khalid Farouk was elected as the President of SLMBC, while Spillburg Holdings Ltd. Managing Director Mohamed Hameez, and Public Bank Berhad Business Development Manager Hsin Haw Li, were elected as Vice Presidents. International Scholar Educational Services Ltd. Chairman/CEO Keerthi Jayasuriya will serve as the Immediate Past President.
The committee elected will be represented by: Amana Bank PLC, Acorn Aviation Ltd., Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd., FMG Plastic Ltd., Flexicare Lanka Ltd., Mansoor Gems and Softlogic City Hotels Ltd.