A - 13 member high level business delegation from the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs ( COYLE ) led by its President Kasun Rajapaksa, visited Cuba from 17th – 20th October 2016 on a business promotion and goodwill mission which was the first of its kind by a Sri Lankan Chamber delegation to Cuba. The group of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs representing construction, manufacturing, trading and services sectors, on 18th October 2016, took part in the first ever Sri Lanka - Cuba Business Forum at the National Hotel in Havana, jointly organized by the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, Embassy of Sri Lanka in Havana and the Embassy of Cuba in Colombo, aimed at exploring trade, commerce and business opportunities between the two countries. A large gathering of Cuban entrepreneurs, officials, chamber representatives was present on the occasion.
The Sri Lanka - Cuba Business Forum which kicked off its proceedings under the distinguish presence of the Director of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, President of COYLE and the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Cuba. The Director of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, Ms Milena Perez Cepero in her opening remarks underscored the initiative taken by COYLE to open up new horizons between the two countries. While extending her appreciation to COYLE delegation, she thanked all those present for their genuine interest and support for a worthy endeavor.
Delivering his speech, President of COYLE, Kasun Rajapaksa emphasized the common outlook and shared perspectives enjoyed by Sri Lanka and Cuba in topographical, geographical, climatic, ecological, socio - cultural sectors so on and so forth. Elaborating further, Mr Rajapaksa outlined COYLE’s vision and mission toward seizing the opportunities at the disposal of both countries for further promotion of trade, commerce and investment between the two countries, in partnership with like minded entities.He also assured the Cuban counterparts of COYLE’s fullest support and commitment in pursuing hassle free and business friendly collaboration with Cuban entrepreneurs in all sectors of bilateral interest.
The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Cuba, Sarath Dissanayake, briefed those present on the strategic diplomatic and foreign policy initiatives launched by the present government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to usher in a new era of international collaboration with all members of the international community. Recalling the fact Sri Lanka and Cuba have been best of friends for generations, despite the geo graphical landscape that keep them far and apart, the Ambassador echoed the sentiments expressed by the previous speakers that the two countries could count on each other’s support to consolidate their respective economies. He also congratulated the COYLE on embarking upon their maiden trade mission to Cuba and for making the first ever Sri Lankan - Cuba Business Forum a reality. In closing, he made a power point presentation on “ Sri Lanka and its attractive business, trade and investment climate.
There was an exchange of gifts and tokens which was symbolic of the true spirit in which the first ever Sri Lanka - Cuba Business Forum concluded successfully in an atmosphere of friendship and cordiality.
The Business Forum was followed by B2B meetings between the COYLE delegation and their Cuban counterparts and ended on a positive note. The session was concluded with a luncheon hosted by the COYLE for the Cuban entrepreneurs, officials and all those present.
The COYLE delegation was hosted to a dinner by the Sri Lankan Ambassador that evening at which the newly appointed Cuban Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez and Foreign Ministry officials were present.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
20th October 2016