Freedom to Enterprise
Pictured are (l-r) Mr Duminda Landewatta of D. Samson Industries, Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, Mrs Nalika Kodikara, Commercial Secretary at the Sri Lankan High Commission, Minister Lakshman Wasantha Perera and Mr Bandula Egodage.
The opening of The Diplomatic Society (TDS) Bureau office in Colombo, Sri Lanka is steadily establishing a presence on this teardrop shaped island in South Asia. Using its various media platforms TDS has created greater awareness of this fast emerging Indian Ocean Island and the South Asia region.
The visit of Hon. Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka and his delegation to South Africa and countries of the region further enhanced the objective of Sri Lanka as the Wonder of Asia.
In his keynote address at the Afro-Lankan Business Forum hosted by the City of Jo’burg he further emphasized the growing and strengthening interactions between Africa and Sri Lanka. Referring to the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) Summit held in Colombo, Sri Lanka last November, he said the high number of African Heads of State attending the summit is a clear indication of deepening relations specifically on trade. “My ministry is firmly committed to extend support needed by both the Sri Lankan and South African business community to find their mutual benefits and establish stronger business ties,” he said.
Not only is Sri Lanka strategically placed in South Asia, its unique free trade agreement with India and Pakistan makes it an attractive investment prospect, explained the minister. He also informed the audience that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China was being concluded.
Hon. Elizabeth Thabethe the Deputy Minister of the newly formed Ministry of Small Business Enterprise welcomed the delegation to South Africa by expressing her gratitude for the wonderful experience she and her delegation encountered during their visit to the country.
The creation of the Small Business Enterprise ministry is seen as a catalyst to instigate the active entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of South Africans who want ‘Freedom to Enterprise’.
“We will work closely with the authorities to overcome the barriers to potential growth of trade” was the undertaking given by Mr. Bandula Egodage, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. He encouraged exporters to expand bilateral trade between the countries.