September, 17, 2020
Sri Lanka - Greater Mekong Business Council held its 9th Annual General Meeting on 27th August 2020 at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Her Excellency Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Ambassador of Thailand, graced the event as the Chief Guest.
Mr. Ranil Seneviratne in his speech thanked the membership for re-electing him as the President and stated that the Executive Committee made courtesy calls to the Thailand and Vietnam embassies and also discussed the issues faced by both countries including procedures on Visas, Trade barriers, Investment opportunities, Technological assistance, Free Trade Agreements ect. He Further stated that the Council organized an interactive evening with Her Excellency Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, Ambassador of Vietnam in Sri Lanka, in February 2020 and a Webinar on “Thailand and Vietnam” on 10th of June 2020 in association with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with Her Excellency Samantha Jayasooriya, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Thailand and His Excellency Prasanna Gamage, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Vietnam. They shared their views with two other eminent speakers on the current economy, business environment and opportunities for joint collaborations with Thailand and Vietnam. Mr. Seneviratne also thanked Her Excellency Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, Ambassador of Vietnam in Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Ambassador of Thailand, His Excellency Han Thu, Ambassador for Union of Myanmar, to all the Embassy officials of 05 Greater Mekong countries for the support extended in various matters.
Her Excellency Chulamanee Chartsuwan, the Ambassador of Thailand congratulated the newly elected Executive Committee and presented a video clip made by the Thailand Board of Investment, with its latest campaign, titled “Think Resilience, Think Thailand”. This video elaborated Thailand and its tested strengths and its status as the region’s prime investment destination. Further stated that the country’s economic development over the past 40 years, its position as the second largest economy in Southeast Asia and a leading manufacturer of food, electronics and cars, testify to its strong fundamentals and diverse industries. The country is taking a step further by implementing the Thailand 4.0 development model which focuses on developing high-tech, sustainable industries of the future and making Thailand the digital innovation hub of Asia. Thailand’s investment ecosystem offers advanced infrastructure, supportive investment policies, and comprehensive tax and non-tax incentives. Moreover, investors with facilities in Thailand enjoy cost effective operations and ease of doing business. In 2019, Thailand ranked 21st for ease of doing business, out of 190 countries surveyed by the World Bank.The Ambassador further stated that Thailand look forward to work with the new Government on a number of pending areas and one particular issue is our pending FTA negotiations
Ranil Seneviratne, of Ranfer Group was re-elected as the President of the Council while Mahen Weerasekera, of Capitol Developers Ltd, S.M.D. Suriyakumara, of Maliban Biscuits Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd and Venura Fernando of Siam City Cement (Lanka) Limited was elected as Vice Presidents for the period of 2020-2021. The Committee will be represented by Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt) Ltd, Ceylon Biscuits Ltd, Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd, Lanka Hospitals PLC and MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.