Sri Lanka-Russia Business Council holds 18th AGM

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The Sri Lanka-Russia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 18th Annual General Meeting as a virtual event recently. Embassy of Russia Charge d’affaires Alexey Budanov was the Chief Guest.

The newly-elected President of the Sri Lanka-Russia Business Council (SLRBC) Kolitha Wickramasinghe assured even though that most businesses are facing challenges due to the unfortunate circumstances experiencing globally time is opportune for businesses to look for avenues of opportunities keeping in line with our objectives of the SLRBC.

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Wikramasinghe further highlighted the potential products such as tea, sea food, fruits and vegetables, coco peat and services will be promoted in collaborations with the commerce in Russia. He further emphasised the importance of participating at internationally recognised trade fairs such as Prodexpo which is scheduled to be held in February 2022 in Moscow.

Budanov stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted many aspects of bilateral relations, however, despite these challenges Sri Lanka and Russia were able to maintain a positive trend in bilateral trade. 

Russia traditionally continues to be one of the largest consumers of Ceylon Tea, firmly remaining in the top three countries of its purchasers. The import from Sri Lanka also comprises spices, apparel and rubber and highlighted that the first consignments of dehydrated fruits have been shipped to Russia recently from Sri Lanka.

Bunanov also said: “In an effort to restart the tourist exchange the Russian Government had decided to resume flights with Sri Lanka from 1 April. SriLankan Airlines started direct flights to Moscow from 30 July and Aeroflot has announced its plans to resume its flights to Colombo from November. We hope that by the beginning of the high season in Sri Lanka passenger flows will further increase. Direct flights create opportunities for Sri Lankan business to diversify exports to Russia, for example by supplying short-lived commodities, including the much-needed in Russia fish and seafood products.”

Salota International Ltd. Managing Director Kolitha Wickremasinhge was elected as the President of the Council while Freight Links International Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Niral Kadawatharatchie and Uni Traders Ltd. Managing Director Isuru Samarasinghe were elected as the Vice Presidents. Regency Teas Ltd. Director Hiran Karunaratne was appointed as the Treasurer to the Council and Avian Technologies Ltd. Director Buddhika Liyanage will serve as the Immediate Past President.

The committee elected for the period 2021-2022 will be represented by CBL Natural Foods, Kaushalya Tea Export Company, MAC Holdings Ltd., MOS Lanka Investments, Maltras International Ltd., Natures Beauty Creations Lanka Ltd., Orifini Jewellers, Rahino Roofing Products Ltd. and Walkers Tours Ltd.

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