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January 31, 2017

MERCANTILE TRIP TO SRI LANKA ORGANISED BY BRISLA
The British Sri Lankan Association (BRISLA), United Kingdom, organised a "Mercantile trip" to Sri Lanka from 23rd to 27th January 2017 in collaboration with the Department for International Trade (DIT) of the British High Commission in Colombo. The programme was developed and managed by BRISLA and its partners in Sri Lanka. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with The Council for Business with Britain, organised a business forum to the delegation at the Chamber.

BRISLA is committed to strengthening the cohesive partnership between Sri Lanka and UK in trade and investments, education, health and having a positive contribution to the environment by way of bringing interested parties from the UK to Sri Lanka in promoting trade and investment opportunities.

Their main objective has been to promote Sri Lankan interests in the UK and to have a positive impact between the two countries. The flagship annual event, being the BRISLA Awards due to take place on 14th October 2017 will be held at the Long Room, Lord's Cricket Ground. It is an opportunity to celebrate the successes achieved by the British Sri Lankan community in variety of fields and recognising those who work to improve the welfare and integration of British Sri Lankan communities within wider British society. The 150 Years of the Tea Industry will have significance at the forthcoming BRISLA Awards night and a special auction will be carried out in celebration.

The Business delegation comprised of Dr. Zimar Sivardeen, Director Specsavers Opticians, New Malden, interested in the Healthcare industry and Educational sectors, Dr. Janak Gunatilleke, Director of Ossington Associates Ltd., Mr Neil Southwell, CEO & MD of JE2 Limited a multi-function independent Consultancy that provides Subject Matter Expertise advice and services for Education in the Tertiary sector (Secondary School and University) and Cyber Security and Mr Richard Gould, Managing Director, TerraBlu Homecare.

Speaking at the forum, the Chief Economist, Anushka Wijesinhe, highlighted Sri Lanka's Economic outlook. Encouraging Startup ECO System in Sri Lanka, the Country Manager of Youth Business, Mr. Vartharaja Kumaraguru, stressed the need of exposure on foreign investments that can promote Sri Lankan entrepreneurship ECO System in Sri Lanka. The delegates also listened to Mr. Lakshitha Dharmawansa, General Manager of Avery Dennison highlighting their successful joint venture in Sri Lanka. The B2B meetings and meetings with Government Officials were of immense success.

During the Mercantile Trip, visits were made to many national leaders in Sri Lanka including His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister who acknowledged and endorsed the work carried out by BRISLA.
Hon. Mangala Samaraweera MP and Dr Zimar Sivardeen
BRISLA delegates with the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka
and the Maldives, H.E.James Dauris
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