In November 2015, The Sri Lanka - China Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce achieved a major milestone in its journey so far, when the Council organized its first ever trade and investment mission to three primary destinations in China’s three major provinces.
A group of council members, representing industries from gems and jewellery, logistics, leisure, property development, project management, personal care & cosmetics, tea & rubber, ceramic ware, agriculture mechanization, fisheries and construction took part in the mission, visiting Gunagzhou, Qingdao and Hangzhou.
The mission was coordinated by the Sri Lanka – China Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with support from the Commerce section of the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Colombo and the China Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka.
In China, the respective Commerce ministries and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT’s) organized forums for discussions and presentations to showcase the opportunities available to Chinese businessmen, for both investment and trade in Sri Lanka. In addition, the highlights of the mission were the one to one business meetings that were organized, where mission delegates had the opportunity of meeting Chinese counterparts interested in both trade and investment opportunities.
Commenting on the mission, Navindra Abeyesekera, President of the Sri Lanka - China Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, who led the delegation stated that the mission had achieved all of its objectives that it set out to; viz., to identify and enter into discussions with potential Chinese firms, for products with potential to market in China, to create a forum for bilateral trade opportunity evaluation with prospective Chinese enterprises, with the support of the respective Provincial CCPIT offices and Chambers and to gain knowledge and greater understanding of doing business with China and in particular an understanding of the key challenges.
Several delegates have already begun exchanging samples, conducting negotiations, discussing potential investment opportunities and were hopeful of concluding business transactions very soon. The knowledge gained about how the Chinese business network operates, ways of conducting business negotiations, the supporting infrastructure etc were invaluable insights gained by the delegates. The receptions granted to the Sri Lankan delegates by the Chinese counterparts were extremely cordial and friendly added Abeyesekera. The receptions were hosted by VIP’s of the public sector, who held very influential positions and as a result brought about great recognition to the council.