by Sujeeva Nivunhella in London
Chairman, British Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce, Jayampathi Perera urged the newly-elected government in Sri Lanka to give due priority to promoting trade opportunities between the two countries.
“Previous governments missed the bus and this resulted in the country losing out on the deal”, he told The Sunday Island.
As a bilateral trade body, the British Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce wants the new government to give prominence to international trade and foreign investment, he noted.
Perera said that since the elections, and especially with the UNP-led government in place, many UK-based businesses are looking seriously towards Sri Lanka as a viable trading partner. “I urge the government to give them credible support”.
The time is now opportune for the government to give serious thought towards promoting Ceylon Tea to the world. Unfortunately, this aspect remained totally neglected over the past many years, he observed.
“Sri Lanka’s tea exports to the UK, an European country with the highest tea consumption in the world, has dipped from over 60 million kilos per annum to 3 million kilos”, Perera pointed out.
“How did we allow this to happen”?, he queried.
The new government should look into the possibility of rejoining the Tea Council of UK, he suggested.