Ceylon Chamber, Sao Paulo Chamber inks MOU
The historic MOU was signed virtually by Manjula de Silva, Chief Executive Officer of the Ceylon Chamber and Ricardo Cateb Cury, Senior Representative of the São Paulo Chamber of Commerce, witnessed by Sumith Dassanayake, newly appointed Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Brazil.
The São Paulo Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2004 as the international relations and foreign trade body of the São Paulo Commerce Association, an entity with more than 120 years of existence, and pursues its objective of promoting commercial relations between foreign and Brazilian companies.
“Considering, the untapped market opportunities in both countries as the bilateral trade is yet to turn their full attention to each other, I am confident that, this initiative will pave the way to increase much needed direct interaction of Business communities between the two countries” said Dassanayake during the signing ceremony.
Ambassador Dassanayake further stated that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Sri Lanka, both governments have been working to strengthen the economic-commercial relationship and the possibilities of co-operation in areas such as industrial, technological, customs, tourism, among others. Sri Lanka is now focusing on long-term strategic and structural development challenges as it strives to transition to an upper middle-income country similar to Brazil. This collaboration will also bring opportunities for both countries to share their expertise and knowledge for mutual benefits and economic prosperity.
Silva stated that the bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Brazil registered at USD 90.00 Mn in 2019 and 71 Mn in 2020 highlights necessity of making awareness of the available opportunities in both countries. It was further mentioned that in 2020 Brazil imported rubber and its articles, clothing, electrical equipment, fruits, precision equipment, machinery, among others and Brazil exported rubber and its articles, cotton, sugar, chemical products, paper and cellulose to Sri Lanka during 2020”.
Ricardo Cateb Cury, Senior Representative of the São Paulo Chamber of Commerce stated that “Brazil is considered as the economic leader in the South American continent and 9th largest economy in the world which has over 50% of its trade to Asia, will be able to further enhance its trade and economic activities by this engagement as Sri Lanka awaits facilitating Brazilian businesses via its maritime and commercial hub operations.
Brazil has a highly diversified economy, with a highly productive and technological agricultural sector, a broad and sophisticated industrial base, one of the most solid and prudently regulated financial sectors among developed countries, the largest stock exchange in Latin America, and abundant natural resources, including energy. In addition, the Brazilian economy continues its structural changes, promoting constant improvement in the business environment.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce have already signed 138 Memoranda of Understanding to expand and further strengthen strong relationships with overseas trade promotion organisations for the benefit of business community in Sri Lanka. Most of these partner Chambers renewed its relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic thereby organising large number of Webinars to create awareness on potential business opportunities followed by Virtual B2B Meetings. In December, the Ceylon Chamber organised a series of Virtual B2B meetings with members of the Sao Paulo Chamber of Commerce.