Greater Mekong Subregion Business Council President Andre Fernando, Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage and members of the council at the Annual General Meeting which was held at the Grand Ballroom of Hilton Residencies Pic by Damith Wickramasinghe
By Supun Dias
The Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Subregion Business Council said that there is tremendous potential in trade and investments opportunities with mutual benefits for Sri Lanka and for the Mekong countries that could help the Sri Lankan economy in a bigger way. Especially in countries such as Myanmar which opened its economy following a transition of power to a democratically elected government from a military junta, Sri Lanka can reap the benefits from industries such as construction, healthcare and even education in the country.
The Council, which held its Annual General Meeting recently saw the re-election of Andre Fernando as its President, noted out a number of areas where both parties can work together to bring economic benefits
to the countries.
The Council has identified that Sri Lanka should focus on finding innovative ways to generate power whilst Sri Lanka can help countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in sharing the knowledge and technical guidance to promote the usage of energy. Sri Lanka could also learn from Thailand to improve the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector which the Thais have achieved tremendous growth over the last few years.
The Council also noted that Sri Lanka could also jointly develop the agriculture sector with Thailand. They further suggested that the Sri Lankan banking sector can collaborate with Greater Mekong countries which will be important to accelerate more trade
& investment opportunities.
Minister Bathiudeen also unveiled www.chinalankabiz.com by his Ministry-the CAEXPO Web Gateway for present and prospective Lankan businesses keen on Chinese and ASEAN markets.
Among the Lankan sectors joining the CAEXPO 13 are Ceylon Tea, gems and jewellery, handicrafts, handlooms, batik, lacquer work, and tourism.
“Sri Lanka will join the 13th CAEXPO as Special Guest Country. A series of special guest country activities including Sri Lanka pavilion, national promotion conference and trade fair will be held during the 13th CAEXPO. We believe that Sri Lanka can showcase its products to China in a big way at CAEXPO-more importantly to ASEAN importers as well” said Minister Bathiudeen during a pre-departure meeting with his top officials on September 8th.
As an international event for economic and trade exchanges, CAEXPO has shown the world from the very beginning that it is not only a great event for China or ASEAN, but an international stage opens to the world with “10+1” as its foundation. Also, CAEXPO has organized trade and economic exchanges activities for “10+6” countries the 10 ASEAN countries plus the RCEP member countries Australia, China, Japan, Korea, India, New Zealand) and to countries along Maritime Silk Road. The Special Guest Country option is a major mechanism in CAEXPO for China to link to economies it considers as important.