In recognition of opportunities to enhance collaboration in the ICT industry between Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Phillipines Shobini Gunasekera, together with an ICT delegation, met with the new Secretary (Minister) of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Atty. Ivan John Uy. Secretary Uy, a lawyer by profession, is an expert in technology law, computer forensics, cyber security, e-commerce, digital ethics, etc., with extensive experience in the public and private sector. He assumed the position of DICT Secretary upon the inauguration of the new administration on 30 June 2022.
At the meeting, Ambassador Gunasekera briefed the Secretary of Sri Lanka’s interest to collaborate with the Philippines in the ICT sector where both countries can complement each other’s strengths and capabilities particularly in the areas of e-government, e-commerce, business process outsourcing, and software development. She elaborated on the growing interest among the Sri Lankan ICT industry to introduce their services, expand their network, and establish their presence in the Philippines in line with its digitalization drive.
A delegation from two Sri Lankan ICT companies namely Sanji De Silva of Bileeta Pvt Ltd. and Dinesh Saparamadu of hSenid Group of Companies, who are currently in the Philippines on a business visit, also attended the meeting. Speaking on behalf of the industry, the entrepreneurs discussed about the innovative solutions and products that Sri Lanka offers.
Secretary Uy expressed his interest to study and explore the possibility of engaging further with Sri Lanka in this sector. According to him, the new administration is in the process of finalizing its ICT development agenda under the economic plan of the President of Philippines Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.
The Sri Lankan ICT industry has already made its presence in the Philippines in various sectors. Companies like FBC Asia Pacific, Tech One Global, hSenid Group, Bileeta, among others, have already established their operations serving clients from small and medium sized enterprises up to the country’s biggest corporations.
In line with the goal of further expanding engagements between the two countries in this industry, the Embassy has been facilitating interactions, dialogues, and introductions between relevant stakeholders such as the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), Sri Lanka Association of Software Service Companies (SLASSCOM), etc. to provide a platform to expand linkages, share best practices, and foster collaboration.
Further, the Embassy, in its efforts to promote Sri Lanka as an IT-BPM destination for Philippines-based BPM companies, has facilitated the entry of foreign BPM firms like EMAPTA which has now established its operations in the country. The Embassy has also recently tied up with the Center for International Education Global Colleges Inc. of the Philippines for an IT scholarships program for five hundred (500) Sri Lankan beneficiaries to be implemented through the Rotary Club of Colombo Reconnections and the Rotary Club of Makati Circle of Friends.