National Chamber of Exporters holds its 16th AGM     Follow

NCE President Sarath De Silva addresses the Annual General Meeting. Others from left are  Mangala Yapa - Vice President, Jagath Peiris - Vice President, Patrick Amarasinghe - Founder President, Chief Guest  Dr. Koshy Mathai, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative Sri Lanka and the Maldives Rohan Fernando - Immediate Past President, Ms Diruni Chanmugam - Hony. Secretary, and Rasa Weerasingham - Executive Director 

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) held its 16th Annual General Meeting on Friday, 26 November 2010 at Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo.

The Chief Guest was Dr. Koshy Mathai, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative Sri Lanka and the Maldives.  In addressing the gathering he stated that Sri Lanka now is a middle income country, but it should become a richer middle income country.

In order to develop he stated that the country should have a stable policy climate, favourable macroeconomic condition and high literacy rate means knowledge workers, good managers, CEOs and other people who think out of the box.

He also stated that a quality University system can generate these people.  Developing human capital is enabling the modern and long term growth in a country.  He was quite optimistic of the Government's decision to have private universities in the country.

In his address he mentioned that even though there was a 30 year disruptive war, Sri Lanka was able to maintain an average 5% GDP growth rate, the war that has absorbed so much in terms of human and economic resources.  Now with this burden lifted from the nation's shoulders, it seems obvious that the economy should be poised for a great growth.

The NCE President, Sarath de Silva was unanimously re-elected as the President.
In his address, he highlighted the very business friendly proposals presented by the H.E. the President, some of which are outlined below.

  • Among them we should appreciate the fact that the President urged the Shipping lines to remove the anti-competitive practices, such as the terminal handing charges and other burdens on the exporters and importers within the next 100 days.
  •  A request to the banks to reduce the interest rates further, so that the local companies could invest further and expand their businesses.
  •  Special emphasis on SME's
  •  Impressive achievements of Sri Lanka and targeted per capita income of USD4000 by the year 2016.
  •  Increased private investments from the present level of 21% of the GDP to 28% over the next six years.
  •  Targeted 8-10% growth in the GDP in future.
  •  Presented a new Tax Structure for a Value Added Economy.
  •  Giving priority to branding where the estimated income on exports could increase by USD5 billion
  •  Stressed on import substitution and mentioned the figure of USD2 billion of food, grains and wheat flour
  •  Income tax on all export companies was reduced by 3% that is from 15% to 12%
  • To improve domestic manufacturing enterprises, the President proposed to reduce income tax on profits from 35 to 28% that is a 7% reduction
  •  President Rajapaksa stressed and extended very big incentives to the tourist trade
  •  Reduced the passenger transport duty on vehicles by 25%
  •  Our banking sector gained on reduced VAT on financial services from 20-12% and profit tax of banks and financial institutions by 7%.  The President expected these benefits to be transferred to the industrialists and exporters, so that they would expand further.
  •  President Rajapaksa has also stressed to intensify the tax incentives to IT and BPO Businesses and removed VAT & NBT on Software.
  •  The Gem and Jewellery industry that is represented in NCE was encouraged by permitting the import of raw gem stones from USD 10,000 to USD 50,000 per person.
  •  To upgrade the apparel industry further, import of machinery and equipment was exempted from Import duty and VAT.
  •  The joint public and private sector partnerships was allocated Rs.1, 000 million for research and development.

In conclusion, de Silva thanked the Council Members for having confidence in him and re-electing him as the President for the ensuing year.

The following were elected to the Management Committee for the year 2011.
Sarath de Silva  -  President

Patrick Amarasinghe  -  Founder

Rohan Fernando  - Immediate Past

D K Rajapaksa  -  Past President

Jagath Peiris  -  Vice President

Mangala P. B. Yapa  -  Vice President

Diruni Chanmugam  -  Hony Secretary

Haris Guruge  - Treasurer

Sarada M. de Silva  -  Council

Ramal Jasinghe  -  Council

The AGM was followed by Cocktails and Dinner.  During Cocktail time, a raffle draw was conducted and prizes were awarded for 11 lucky winners.  The First prize of the raffle draw was a Business Class Return Air Ticket to Maldives by Sri Lankan Airlines, was won by  Wasantha Aluthwala of Imperial Teas.

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