National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 7 July to enhance trade and investment between Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman. President of the NCCSL Nandika Bhuddipala and the Chairman of the OCCI Eng. Redha Jumah Al Saleh, virtually signed the MoU. The signed copy of the MoU was ceremonially handed over to the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Sultanate of Oman Ameer Ajwad who witnessed the signing of the MoU at the OCCI headquarters in Muscat, by the Chairman of the OCCI. Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Sri Lanka Sheikh Juma bin Hamadan Alshehi witnessed the virtual signing of the MoU. A Business Forum and B2B Matchmaking session were also held followed by the ceremonial signing of the MoU.
Opening the Business Forum OCCI Chairman Eng. Redha Jumah Al Saleh highlighted the importance of the MoU between the two national Chambers of Commerce and stated that the signing of the MoU, which coincides with the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and Oman this year, would open up new vistas of opportunities to enhance the volume of trade and promote exchanges of trade and investments in various fields between the two countries in the years ahead.
Ambassador Ameer Ajwad pointed out that the current level of bilateral trade and investment between the two countries did not reflect the true potential of bilateral economic opportunities available in both countries and that this MoU will serve as a catalyst to establish direct contacts between the two national Chambers of Commerce in order to bolster trade and investments to benefit the two friendly nations.
The President of the NCCSL Nandika Bhuddipala, during his welcoming remarks, underlined the significance of the MoU and stated that it would serve as a bridge to connect the business communities of both countries.
High profile speakers addressed the Business Forum. Sri Lanka was represented by Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) Sanjaya Mohottala, Chairman of the Export Development Board (EDB) Suresh Dayanath de Mel, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) Sandra De Zoysa, and Past President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Ayurveda Ratna, Asoka Hettigoda. Oman was represented by Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Eng. Ibrahim Al Maamari, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water resources Mahmoud Al Siyabi, and Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones of the Sultanate of Oman Thuraya Al Zarafiya. The distinguished speakers from both sides shared information about the opportunities available in both countries for business cooperation and collaboration. The full video link of the signing ceremony and the Business Forum can be accessed at: https://youtu.be/K1VGFUkbxHI
The forum was followed by a B2B matchmaking session between Sri Lankan companies and their Omani counterparts. The identified and focused sectors for the B2B matchmaking included health, agriculture, food, farming, tourism, boat building, fisheries, garments and ICT. More than 100 companies from both sides had registered for this session and sector-wise B2B interactions were held with a view to establishing business links between the private sectors of the two countries.