|FCCISL sets up regional development unit
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), the largest private sector grouping in the country has recently set up a regional development unit (RDU) at its secretariat at Colombo, says a press release. The broad objective of the RDU is to promote trade, industry and investments in the regional areas of Sri Lanka and also to cater to regional private sector needs and development of regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in the country.
The RDU is another pioneering effort of FCCISL. It will be the first dedicated and exclusive unit set up for regional private sector development, by any national level CCI in Sri Lanka.
FCCISL is the apex organization for over 35 chambers and trade associations in the metropolitan, district and provincial level with a combined membership of over 10,000 businesses comprising of sole proprietors, partnerships, private limited liability companies and public quoted companies. FCCISL has been actively promoting for the expansion of the chamber movement into districts and provinces over the last decade. All 13 regional CCIs of the country are member-bodies of FCCISL and most of them have been promoted and formed by FCCISL. The list of regional chambers of commerce & industry is as follows;
District Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
1. Galle District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 2. Matara District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 3. Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce, 4. Moneragala District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 5. Matale District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 6. Kegalle District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Provincial Chambers of Commerce & Industry, 7. Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Central Province, 8. Central Province Womens Chamber of Commerce & Small Industries, 9. Chamber of Commerce & Industry of North Central Province, 10. Wayamba Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 11. Sabaragamuwa Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 12. Chamber of Commerce & Industries of Yarlpanam, 13. Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Uva Province.
FCCISL is currently planning to set up a few more district CCIs in places like Baticaloa, Nuwara Eliya, Kalutara, Vavuniya, Puttalam etc. The long-term objective of FCCISL is to cover each district with a CCI.
The FCCISL has recognized the importance given to regional development by the new government by establishing separate zonal ministries to overlook the development efforts of various regions. The establishment of RDU is a parallel and complementary step towards the governments effort of regional development. The regional private sector, as a whole and as against that of the metropolitan areas, is rather informal and disorganized by nature. Due to this, there is a sense of "backwardness" in the regional private sector often leading to isolation Policy makes too often find it difficult to find a suitable "representative" from the private sector in most regional areas for advice and consultation.
In Colombo, the interaction between the private sector and the public sector is healthy while it is at regional level is poor. The regional authorities do not seem to be consulting the regional private sector as much as it happens in Colombo. Therefore, the public private dialogue is poor. When it comes to lobbying at the regional level by private sector that too is very ineffective mainly due to the disorganized nature of the regional private sector and also due to lack of expertise. There are other issues too, which demand for the regional private sector to seek assistance, guidance, etc. from the national private sector. On the whole, the linkage between the regional level private sector and the national private sector is not a very strong one. It needs further strengthening and enhancement.
In order to address these weaknesses the FCCISL has long felt the need for a dedicated unit for further facilitation, promotion development and strengthening of regional private sector. As a result, the RDU has come into existence with the support of a few donor agencies.
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