News CeylonChambersignMoUwithCzechChamber

Standing L to R: Dr. Lohitha Samarawickrema, His Excellency Milan Hovorka, His Excellency Milan Stech, Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake.

Seated L to R: Mr. Michal Stefl, Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with a view to build a dependable, pragmatic, and advantageous relationships and to establish friendly and cordial relations between Sri Lanka and Czech Republic, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Czech Chamber of Commerce on 21st September, 2018, at the “Sri Lanka – Czech Republic Business Forum” organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with the Hon. Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Sri Lanka. Signing of the MOU was initiated by His Excellency Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Sri Lanka in India, as a result of a discussion held during His Excellency’s visit to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in July 2018.

H. E Milan Hovorka said, “the New Delhi based embassy to Sri Lanka is proud to bring together the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Czech Chamber of Commerce. This is a step in the right direction to strengthen and promote business relations between Czech Republic and Sri Lanka.

The Chief Guest for the occasion, Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, welcomed Czech businesses saying, “A few of the Czech business delegation here today comprise representatives of the pharmaceutical sector. This is a sector with which we are actively looking to develop. We have a new industrial zone planned with the pharmaceutical sector specifically in mind, and also the requirements for high quality water, and intellectual property protection. We invite the Czech Republic to invest with us and deepen bilateral trade relations between our two countries.” Hon. Samarawickrama also encouraged Czech businesses by highlighting the benefits of setting up in Sri Lanka such as availability of skilled labour, ease of doing business, favourable tax regime, and exceptional living conditions for expatriates.

The reason we arranged this business mission to Sri Lanka is because our economy exports 4/5 of industrial production to Western European countries, and 1/2 of the exports are to our immediate neighbour Germany. We consider it very important to diversify our exports, and to cooperate with countries where we share commonalities and have had success in the past. This is the reason for our focus on Sri Lanka, because traditionally and historically we have enjoyed very good relations. Czech is a landlocked nation with limited resources, furthermore, due to our high employment rates, Czech Businesses are keen on seeking Joint Ventures in Sri Lanka to make use of its highly qualified labour and rich resources, in order to remain competitive and innovative. We are also very much interested in trade exchange in order to provide a wide variety of goods for the consumers of the Czech Republic whose wages are high and increasing,” said the Guest of Honour His Excellency Milan Stech, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, while addressing the forum.

The Czech Chamber of Commerce is the representative body of the industrial and commercial entities of the Czech Republic established with an objective of increasing the flow of trade through creating business opportunities and improving the business climate for the private sector. "We have similar objectives and we enter into an alliance with Czech Chamber in order to promote the private sector business entities to become reciprocal partners and to extend all support cooperation and assistance to each other for the overall benefit of both countries" said Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah and Mr. Michal Stefl, Vice President, Czech Chamber of Commerce signed the MOU in the presence of the Chief Guest Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Guest of Honour His Excellency Milan Stech, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, His Excellency Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Sri Lanka, Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake, Chief Executive Officer, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Lohitha Samarawickrema, Hony. Consul General for Czech Republic in Sri Lanka. 

The scope of the MOU would be to disseminate trade and investment related information to enhance bilateral trade and business, initiate/promote joint ventures, partnerships and other business linkages, provide technical expertise, arrange business promotion missions between the two countries, formulate proposals to accelerate bilateral relations and convene Business Forums and Business Matchmaking Sessions.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, have already signed 128 Memoranda of Understanding to expand and further strengthen relationships with overseas trade promotion organisations for the benefit of business community in Sri Lanka.

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