Bangladesh business delegation to visit Sri Lanka
*To increase investment, trade opportunities

A business delegation from the Sri Lanka – Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SLBCCI) is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from October 28 to November 1, with the objective of increasing investment and trade opportunities, Head of Chancery at the Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo, Mir Akram Uddin Ahammad said yesterday

President of the SLBCCI Harikesha Wijesekera said that the visiting delegation hopes to initiate linkages that would lead to the establishment of joint ventures and technology transfers between the two countries. "The SLBCCI also expects to forge a strategic partnership with Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, which was established in 1839, when Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, was under the British rule."

The SLBCCI, he said, was formed in Bangladesh in 2006 with the prime objective of strengthening bilateral trade and investment opportunities between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Amongst its other core activities were promoting tourism and cultural ties between the two friendly nations. The joint patrons for the Bangladesh Chamber were the Bangladesh High Commissioner in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Bangladesh. "We hope this inaugural visit would lay a good foundation to strengthen and enhance existing trade ties, but also highlight the mutual benefits that can accrue for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."

Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Anura Ekanayake, said that the SLBCCI would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), during the visit. "The Bangladesh delegation would attend the International Buyer – Seller Meeting organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on the 29th Oct. 2010. It would also attend the presentation on the Sri Lankan economy and insights to trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and the networking evening organised for the 28th evening as a fore-runner for the Buyer–Seller meeting. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it welcomes the Bangladesh delegation and would be happy to share knowledge and experience the Ceylon Chamber had gathered over one and a half centuries."

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI), the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), would provide an insight to trade and investment, tourism, other services and opportunities in Sri Lanka at the BSM 2010. The Bangladesh delegates was also expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers and key government officials during their visit.

Currently, Sri Lanka exports over US$ 26 million of products to Bangladesh, while Bangladesh exports to Sri Lanka goods over US$ 14 million.

The SLBCCI would present a glimpse of multicultural Bangladesh through a fine art exhibition by Kanak Chanpa Chakma, one of the finest Bangladesh artists specialising in tribal art at the Sri Lanka’s National Art Gallery, Colombo 7, on 28 and 29 October.

In addition, the SLBCCI would also present a fashion show, Deshi Colours, by Aneela Haque, a leading Bangladesh fashion designer at the Taj Samudra Hotel on Oct. 28.

Lead sponsor of the fashion show is Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), a well established, top ranking bank in Bangladesh and its co-sponsor is the Square Group, another conglomerate in Bangladesh that works globally.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, which had established successful operations in Bangladesh, was the sole sponsor of the art exhibition.

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