SLSBC over the years has played the role of the catalyst to its members and other Sri Lankan corporates to promote bilateral trade between the two countries. This year, the SLSBC led a delegation of 31 Board level individuals from 26 local companies drawn from a multitude of industry sectors to explore opportunities. What was special this time around is that the delegation consisted of 11 Tech startups looking to accelerate growth in the region. SLSBC ensured and created plenty of opportunities for the delegates to leverage the strength of the network and get B2B meetings organized successfully fully supported by partner chambers in Singapore.
The SLSBC program kicked off officially on Wednesday 21st August with a reception hosted by the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Singapore.
The highlight of the two day program was the SL Investor forum hosted by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) the premier Chamber in Singapore supported by the SL High Commission. The event was well attended by representatives of Singapore companies including some from the “Wish List” of companies shared by the delegates and followed by B2B meetings with the delegates.
SLSBC introduced a novel approach by introducing several field visits as a learning journey especially for startups. A visit to ADERA was organized by SGTech on Wednesday afternoon mainly for the tech startups of the delegation. SGTech is a network that supports tech companies in Singapore. ADERA is a Singapore global company changing the future of data security and automation.
The first day began with a visit to the innovation and entrepreneurship exhibition hosted by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI). The Chinese Chamber board warmly welcomed all the delegates where discussions were held on promoting the respective Companies to go to China via Singapore.
The second day had two tracks for Tech companies and the rest of the delegation with other business interests.
In Track 01, tech enabled companies went to A*ccelerstor, the commercialization arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national private sector-led organization to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore. ACE plays a key role in building a dynamic and sustainable startup ecosystem in Singapore.
Track 02 involved a networking session with the members of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) for the rest of the delegates at Singapore Recreation Club. SLSBC took the opportunity to sign a MOU with SICCI which was witnessed by the SL HC in Singapore.
The delegates also visited the KPMG digital village or “Ignition Center” where all 35 delegates experienced the digital transformation of traditional products or companies where innovation was introduced using technology to make the product offering more acceptable to today’s market.
The program ended on Friday with many positive comments from delegates where some are highlighted below.
The SLSBC mission to Singapore has been extremely helpful in highlighting not only established Sri Lankan organizations but startups as well. As a Regional Technology Consulting organization we were able to articulate value across a variety of stakeholders in Singapore who would also take our message to the region – Mithila Wegapitiya – Director/COO of Potenza
Participating in the Sri Lanka – Singapore Business Council Trade and Investment Promotion Mission to Singapore this year has been extremely valuable to us. As the delegation was from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore Business Federation and Enterprise Singapore extended their fullest support to the Mission and made some very valuable introductions in addition to giving us in-depth understanding of the Singapore technology eco-system and how to work with them. – Eric Wickramanaya – MD TENGRI AERO Industries Pvt Ltd.
SLSBC arranged two thirds of my prospective partner meetings in Singapore. The Head of Mission advised me to submit YKG’s wish list of “companies to meet” ahead of time, so that SLSBC’s partner chambers in Singapore would have sufficient time to contact companies and set up meetings. I was very impressed by the breadth and depth of SLSBC’s partner network in Singapore, and would highly recommend other Sri Lankan companies to make maximum use of CCC’s overseas partners to open doors for them in foreign markets. I am very grateful to SLSBC for arranging YKG’s most fruitful overseas business trip. – Yukthi Gunasekera, Managing Director of YKG Associates.
It was a great and interesting trip to Singapore for the SLSBC Business Delegation. It was particularly eye opening to have a look at some of the innovations happening across the globe in the tech industry, in particular it was great to be able to view the opportunities that might be available and useful with regard to the Gem & Jewellery industry in Sri Lanka and Globally. We look forward to seeing how we might be able to collaborate and find some value addition to our businesses as a result. – Armil Sammoon – Chairman, Sapphire Capital Group, Sapphire Cutters Ltd
In the future we hope to expand the program to benefit many companies looking for bilateral trade with the region. Companies that took part this year were SLSBC President Mr. Rohitha Mendis (Mission Leader), Prudential Shipping Lines (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Ahzar Zawahir, Beauty Gems; Mr. Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, BOV Capital (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Mahen Weerasekera, Capitol Developers Ltd; Mr. Suhayl Sanghani, Ceylon Jewellry Manufacturers (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Sriyal Dissanayake, Eastern Maritime (Colombo) Ltd; Mr. Tharushka Fernando, Infomate (Pvt) Limited; Mr. Suhada Chrishan Mendis, Just in Time (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa, Kalhari Enterprises; Mr. Dulith Herath, Kapruka (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Shiluka Gunawardena, KPMG; Mr. Mohit Pande, Linear Squared (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Tilak Gunawardena, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. W M A K Chandrawansha and Mr. E.P.Harischandra, Malith Engineering Works; Mr. Martin Strommer, nCinga Innovations; Mr. Chrishan Perera, OMAK Technologies (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Mithila Wegapitiya and Mr. Dhanusha Muthukumarana, Potenza Pvt Ltd; Mr. Rishantha Mendis, Prudential Shipping Lines (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Dilendra Wimalasekere, Reap Digital Pvt. Ltd; Mr. Abdur Rahman Haroon and Mr. Mustafa Kassim, Roar Global; Mr. A. Samson C De Silva, S.S Shipping (pvt) Ltd / S.S. Impex (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Jeevan Gnanam, SAKS Analytics (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Shamil Mendis, Spear International (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. M. H. K. M. Hameez, Spillburg Holdings (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Eric Wikramanayake and Mr. Romesh Ranawana, Tengri Aero Industries (Pvt) Ltd Mr. Armil Sammoon, Sapphire Cutters (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Yukthi Gunasekera, YKG Associates (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Prasanjith Wijayatilake and Mr. P. Karunatilake, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. The mission was co-ordinated by Ms. Dinithi Dias, Manager, Business Councils of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce