The World International Certificate of Origin Council Meeting and the World ATA Carnet Council Meeting were inaugurated by Senior Minister and Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama on November 18.These meeting are held at Hilton Colombo and are conducted by International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in collaboration with the World Chambers Federation (WCF).
Forty three participants from various international trade organisations and government officials from 37 countries including the USA, UK, France are China are taking part in these sessions at Hilton Colombo from November 18 to 21. ICC World Chambers Federation Director Anthony Parkes is also taking part in the workshop.
Chief guest Dr. Amunugama spoke about Sri Lanka’s location with clear borders unlike other SAARC region countries. This qualifies us for hub status. He also mentioned about the bi-lateral trade agreements with India and China giving access to the largest markets of the world and requested the participants to make use of this strategic advantage. He described various impediments to international trade and the role international organisations could play to ease them.
ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Keerthi Gunawardane mentioned that we have FTAs with India, Pakistan and soon with China. This could create a lot of opportunities for ICC members in other countries to start business in Sri Lanka. He said Sri Lankan companies create value addition to tea, cinnamon and gems. According to him, Sri Lanka is developing to be a center for value addition to create unique products in the areas of garments, IT and other services.
ICCSL Secretary General Gamini Peiris spoke about their attempts to host ICC international seminars and added that he was delighted at their success. He promised more such events in Sri Lanka in the future.
This event provides unique opportunity to bring together business, customs and other government officials. The dialogue will be on the most effective means to facilitate the movement of goods and services between countries. ICC is committed to help to bridge the gap between governments and business to ensure trade flows more efficiently.
ICC provides a number of tools and services such as ATA Carnet and ICC Customs Guidelines. It facilitates building privileged relationships with inter-governmental agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, World Customs Organisation (WCO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) to shape the rules and regulations that govern trade and trade practices in Global Business.