Afro-Lanka Business Forum in South Africa & Visit of Sri Lankan Business Delegation to South Africa
Published: 07 Sep 2014
The Afro-Lanka Business forum was successfully held on 22nd June 2014 at the Auditorium of the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg coinciding with the SAITEX International Trade Exhibition held from 22nd to 24th June 2014. The forum was jointly organised by the High Commission of Sri Lanka, City of Johannesburg and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) with the participation of more than 140 participants. The objective of the forum was to share the existing trade and investment opportunities between Sri Lanka and South Africa and create a platform for the Sri Lankan delegation led by Hon. Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr.Lakshman Wasantha Perera with the companies in Southern Africa.
Hon.Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce delivered the keynote address highlighting the close bilateral relationship with Africa as a whole and particularly with South Africa. Hon. Deputy Minister of Small Business Development of the Republic of South Africa Ms.Elizabeth Thabethe graced the occasion and also delivered the main speech for South African side at the Forum.
Hon.Deputy Minister Ms. Thabethe highly appreciated the hospitality and business friendly environment that she enjoyed during her visit to Sri Lanka last year. Councillor Willie Van der Schyf represented the Hon.Speaker of the City of Johannesburg and made the remarks related to the business opportunities in the City of Johannesburg. The introductory presentation made by the Commercial Secretary of the Sri Lanka High Commission highlighted the objective of the forum which was followed by a presentation titled “Business opportunities in Sri Lanka” which was made by the Chairman of the EDB while the City of Johannesburg presented the trade and investment opportunities that exist in the City. Later the forum facilitated a business networking opportunity and matchmaking programme with the identified companies.
The delegation comprised the following leading export companies in Sri Lanka named Vecheson, Samson Rubber Industries, Samson International PLC, Natures’ Beauty Creations, Easwaran Brothers, Ceylon Biscuits, Bio Extracts and exhibited at the SAITEX International Trade Fair in order to strengthen the business linkages in Southern Africa. The delegation from Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) participated for the first time as a fact finding visit to South Africa. The COYLE delegation represented leading companies such as Autoland, Citihealth Imports, C.R.Exports, DSI Samson Group, Freight Links International, Fright Masters International, Interpharm, Jam Photo, Orel Corporation.The Sri Lanka delegation exhibited the diverse range of products and Ceylon tea serving campaign was organised at the VIP lounge of the Gallagher Convention Centre and at the Sri Lanka pavilion highlighting its unique identity.
Further, the delegation was hosted by the Gauteng Provincial Government with the participation of members of the Gauteng Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( GYCCI). This opportunity provided a platform for members of COYLE to interact with the members of GYCCI. This was facilitated by the South African High Commission in Colombo enabling the delegation to obtain better understanding and opportunities in the Gauteng province which dominates the South African economy by contributing 33.9% to the Country’s GDP.
The Promotion programme extended to a business networking forum in Cape Town which was organised by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the ANC Progressive Business Forum (ANC-PBF) in order to expose the delegation to the Western Cape opportunities. This session was chaired by Hon. Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of South Africa Dr. Joe Phaahla and the Convenor of the ANC -PBF Mr.Daryl Swanapoel and the Commercial Secretary of the High Commission.
Participation of Sri Lankan delegation at the Afro-Lanka Business Forum, SAITEX international trade fair and the opportunity received for them to interact with Gauteng Government and the Western Cape help companies to strengthen their business relations with existing buyers and also to find new buyers. During the above interactions, the delegation was able to add new knowledge on business opportunities and to explore new ventures
Courtesy of Sri Lankan High Commission in South Africa