The Commercial Bank of Ceylon in collaboration with the Council for Business with Britain (CBB) recently conducted a free webinar titled ‘Export Opportunities to Great Britain’ for over 290 Sri Lankan small and medium entrepreneurs and exporters as well as business promoters from countries such as the United Kingdom, USA, India, Qatar and Singapore.
The two-hour event delivered via Zoom benefited entrepreneurs currently exporting and those interested in exporting goods and services to the United Kingdom (UK) and offered insights into British markets and the different avenues of opportunity available to them.
It was designed for the Bank’s existing small and medium exporters involved in business with the UK, potential exporters to the UK, and members of the CBB, and included a question-and-answer session in addition to the panel discussions and speeches.
The webinar was moderated by Mrs Tania Wettimuny, a council member. The panel consisted of the Minister – Commercial of the CBB Dr Lakmini Mendis representing Sri Lankan High Commission in UK, Mr Suresh De Mel, Chairman & CEO of the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka and Mr Lawrian Somanadar, Chief Manager – Export Department of Commercial Bank who shared their valuable insights which were more relevant to those who wish to do business with the UK and to expand their existing businesses with the UK.
Mrs Thana Sivasambu – the founder and CEO of RUCI Foods, Mr Irfan Thaseem – the CEO of Oceanpick (Pvt) Ltd. and Mr Chinn Perera – the Director of Universal Supply Ltd / Universal Europe Suppliers BVT shared their hands-on experience regarding the businesses that they currently conduct with the UK and how they overcame the difficulties and challenges that they faced. To increase participant interaction, the Bank enabled chat box and real-time messaging features through which questions were discussed during the event. A video of the forum is currently hosted on the Commercial Bank website, Facebook page and YouTube channel for anyone who would be interested in the subject, the Bank said.
The webinar was organised to showcase opportunities available in the UK for local exporters, to inform SMEs about the standards and regulations imposed on exports to the UK, to create awareness about how the EDB could assist entrepreneurs to find new markets and establish trade links with the UK, to build a sense of community where successful entrepreneurs could share their stories and boost the confidence of fledgling SMEs interested in business in the UK, and to influence new SMEs to explore the British market.
The virtual event also provided the Bank the opportunity to identify new leads and include them in its SME directory, to foster a relationship with CBB and to explore new business opportunities with the Council’s membership and to demonstrate Commercial Bank’s commitment towards the Sri Lankan export community, especially those involved in business with the UK.
The Council for Business with Britain – Sri Lanka facilitates and promotes two-way trade between Sri Lanka and the UK and maintains and fosters a harmonious business relationship between the two countries. The Council promotes the exchange of information on trade and investment and supports the business community it represents by serving as the recognised representative of the members in matters concerning business relations with Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. The secretariat is located at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and it can be accessed via www.cbbsl.com
Sri Lanka’s first fully carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 11 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 931 automated machines in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.