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Dan Blignaut – A Friendly And Atonishing Business Haven

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pretoria in partnership with Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) organized a trade and investment promotion seminar at JCCI Auditorium in Johannesburg.

The focus of the event was to promote Sri Lanka’s exports and investments opportunities among leading prospective businesses in South Africa.

Over 50 members of JCCI including corporate leaders representing prominent companies based in Johannesburg participated at the event. The seminar was sponsored by the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka.

Delivering the welcome remarks, Mr. Herman Breedt, vice president of JCCI expressed the importance of developing trade links between South Africa and Sri Lanka and assured fullest support in enhancing trade and investment relations between two countries in the future.

The High Commissioner Mr. Sunil De Silva made a comprehensive presentation highlighting investment and trade opportunities available in the country for foreign investors and businesses and encouraged the participants to explore the vast opportunities available, which would be mutually beneficial.

De Silva eloquently took the audience on a brief journey through the history of Sri Lanka. The influence that various pioneers have had over the small island, and how the nation of Sri Lanka has harnessed their authenticity and unity, and blended that with the infrastructure and ideas left behind by its visitors over the last five centuries.

Particularly famous for its supply of Ceylon tea, Sri Lanka also provides the world with 90% of the product of cinnamon. The spice is used to convert any recipe into taste bud heaven, as well as being a wonder remedy for many ailments and health issues.

The phenomenal transition from the primary GDP contribution through agriculture, to the diverse and insightful development of industries, such as IT services, garment manufacturing and shipbuilding, is a story that many developing countries can blueprint.

This tiny nation of 21 million people has transformed exponentially in recent times, to become a world leader in providing digital processing services, credit vetting and applications, IT development and call centre personnel services, among many others. Their garment manufacturing ethics and standards, have drawn the attention and ultimately secured major contracts from leading world fashion brands, such as Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger and DKNY.

Ship building expertise has also attracted aspiring entrepreneurs from abroad, to request guidance in the methods and practices applied, in this highly technical and precision bound industry.

The Sri Lankan government’s commitment to its people and their happiness, has proven to be a worthy example of insight and perspective, when adapting to the new world and its tendency to rush the future at us.

The preparation of the workforce and its leadership, through relative and targeted education, and the implementation of processes and infrastructure to roll out programmes and projects, has allowed Sri Lanka to be a shining light and a required pit stop in the centre of Asian shipping lanes.

It would be extremely difficult for any country wishing to progress and build wealth for its people, to ignore the mindfulness and genius transformation, applied by the Sri Lankans in their path of selfdetermination.

De Silva also invited the event participants to visit Sri Lanka to ascertain first hand the progress made and opportunities available and how Sri Lanka is going to fill the gap of a new economic hub between Dubai and Singapore.

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