The Sri Lanka-Philippine Business Council (SLPBC) recently concluded its annual visit to the Philippines to attend the 48th Philippine Business Conference and Expo. Comprised of a 30+ delegation, led by Ravi De Silva, the incumbent president, the SLPBC attended the prestigious event held in October 2022 at the Manila Hotel.

A key event at the Business Conference was the signing of an MOU between the Sri Lanka-Philippine Business Council and their counterparts the Philippine-Sri Lanka Business Council to jointly promote mutually beneficial trade between both countries.

The MOU which was signed by Ravi De Silva, President of Sri Lanka-Philippines Business Council and Michael Chen, Chairman of the Philippines-Sri Lanka Business Council, in the presence of H.E. Shobini Gunasekera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Philippines; Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake, Honorary Consul General of the Philippines in Sri Lanka; The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) led by its Chairman, Dimuth Silva; Mary G. Ng, Executive Vice President, FFCCCII; Cecilio K. Pedro, FFCCCII Vice President; George T. Siy, Board Member & Chairman, Trade and Industry Committee, FFCCCII; and Fernando Gan, Corporate Secretary & Secretary General FFCCCII.

On signing of this historic MOU, both parties jointly agreed to the regular exchange and dissemination of information between both countries aimed at expanding and developing opportunities for enhancing economic cooperation, increasing bilateral trade and enhancing investment opportunities between Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The signed MOU also allows both countries to focus on bilateral development in the key areas of information and communications technology, innovation, agriculture, manufacturing, franchising, tourism, services, and small and medium enterprises development, thereby facilitating the exchange of market data, policy information, legal and regulatory requirements etc. for business tie ups and partnerships between both countries.

The MOU further allows the two parties to organize and host outbound and inbound trade and investment missions between the two countries and will assist in the identification and establishment of business contacts from their respective countries.

The Sri Lanka-Philippine Business Council, founded in 2016, started off in 2014/2015 as an idea germinated by then Honorary Consul General Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake and Ravi De Silva who had both been travelling regularly to the Philippines for PCCI meetings and conferences. Since its inception in 2016, the SLPBC has maintained a regular presence in the Philippines with the exception being the pandemic affected years of 2020/21. Quick to reinvigorate the relationship between the two nations post pandemic, the SLPBC initiated this visit to the 48th Philippine Business Conference and Expo.

Looking back on the meeting H.E. Shobini Gunasekera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Philippines, said “I was extremely pleased to see how the event turned out and the signing of the MOU was a major highlight as this opens up several opportunities between both countries. I was also pleasantly surprised to note that several business opportunities have already been set in motion since the visit”.

Speaking on the event, the Honorary Consul General of the Philippines in Sri Lanka; Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake said “I sincerely believe the presence of the SLPBC with its 30 strong delegation followed by the signing of the MOU made this a truly fruitful visit and I am certain it will lead to elevated economic and business development and expansion between both countries”

All in all, the signing of the MOU between the business councils of both countries bodes well for economic and corporate development and investment between both countries.

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