Priyantha Mendis heads Sri Lanka – Korea Business Council again
The 27th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Korea Business Council (SLKBC) of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce was held at Ramada Hotel Colombo and Priyantha Mendis, Alpha Tours (Pvt) Ltd (General Sales Agent for Korean Air in Sri Lanka & Maldives) was re – elected as the President of the Council for the year 2021/2022.
John Shiran Dissanayake from Transmarine (Pvt) Ltd and Shamil Mendis from Spear International (Pvt) Ltd were elected as Vice Presidents of the Council.K. Kunendran from Abans PLC was elected as the Treasurer.
Ceyline Shipping Ltd, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Senok Trade Combine (Pvt) Ltd, Shipping & Cargo Logistics (Pvt) Ltd and Southern Tea Producers (Pvt) Ltd were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.
Woonjin Jeong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka who was the Chief Guest said: “In our 45 years of multifaceted friendship, we have strived to take our relationship to a higher level”.
“I am very happy to share that new Sri Lankan migrant employees are now welcome to enter Korea and assume their new jobs. Recently, the Government of the Republic of Korea decided to resume the entry of new Sri Lankan workers and workers from other foreign countries to Korea. Around 22,000 Sri Lankan employees are presently in Korea and approximately 520 million US dollars were transmitted by them from Korea to Sri Lanka before COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. As they are able to resume work in Korea I am sure that they will greatly contribute to the economic advancement of both countries’.“The successful milestones of our bilateral friendship also extend to the education sector. The Korean government is ready to support Sri Lanka’s initiatives to strengthen Korean language education”.
“Korea has gone through tough times and economic downturns as well, however today, it is known as the ‘Miracle on the Han River.’ I believe the same can be achieved in Sri Lanka as the ‘Miracle on the Kelani River,” he said.
Priyantha Mendis, President of SLKBC stated that “If you consider bilateral trade between the two countries, I believe Sri Lanka needs to improve its trade balance with Korea. However, I must mention that the Korean Government has helped our country immensely to earn much needed foreign exchange by providing employment opportunities for our youth in Korea in the Manufacturing, Fisheries and Agricultural sectors for over 15 years. At present there are over 25,000 Sri Lankans living in Korea – the biggest concentration of expatriate employees after the Middle East.”
He added that “the Korean government has offered scholarships to our students in various universities in Korea for some years now. A few days ago our Foreign Minister who was in Korea had a meeting with his counterpart in Korea and discussed the establishment of a Korea Free Trade Zone in Sri Lanka. In fact, we have been pushing for this for some time and we are hopeful that this proposal might materialize.”
Further details regarding membership of the Council could be obtained from the Secretariat of the Sri Lanka – Korea Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, No. 50, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 2 or on E-mail: [email protected] or Tel.: 011-5588861, 5588800.