The Council for Business with Britain (CBB) hosted its 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday, 12 July, 2010 at the British High Commission in Colombo.

Welcoming guests to the event, Chief Guest and Acting British High Commissioner, Mr. Mark Gooding, said, “As patron of the CBB, I am pleased to support this group in their on-going efforts to promote bilateral business relations between the UK and Sri Lanka. Now is an important time in Sri Lanka’s economic development and the UK is already playing a role, through the companies represented by the CBB, but we can do more. This will help further develop the strong existing economic and cultural links between our two countries at this exciting time for Sri Lanka.”

Mr. Nick Nicolaou, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives, was elected as the Chairman of the Council for the year 2010/2011. In his address, Mr. Nicolaou said, “Sri Lanka is on the threshold of a new economic era where the private sector will have to play an important role and the Council must look at ways to interact with its members in order to assist them in benefitting from the expected upturn in trade and business in general.”

Mr. Shirendra Lawrence, Managing Director, MAS Active (Pvt.) Ltd. was elected as the Vice Chairman of the Council. Meanwhile, Mr. Mustanser Ali Khan, Managing Director and CEO, Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and Mr. Mohammed Ziauddin, Managing Director, Norfolk Foods (Pvt.) Ltd. were elected as the Hony. Secretary and Hony. Treasurer, respectively.

The following were appointed as Committee Members for the year 2010/2011

Mr. Manesh Fernando, General Manager, Hilton Residence Colombo

Mr. Romesh David, President, Transportation & IT, John Keells Holdings PLC

Ms. Janet Ford, Head of UK Trade and Investment, British High Commission, Colombov

Ms. Gill Westaway, Director, British Council, Sri Lanka

Mr. Lal de Alwis, President, National Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Anil Wijesinghe, Chairman/Managing Director, AWS Institute of Education (Immediate Past Chairman, CBB)

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce provides Secretarial services to the Council for Business with Britain.

The CBB has a diverse membership of over 140 companies, making it one of Colombo’s most prestigious networking business associations. To this end, the Council organises a series of events throughout the year for the benefit of its members, ranging from luncheon meetings with guests speakers on topical interest to sporting and social activities.

The CBB have also continued to support the English Language Teacher Training programme, now in its fifth year and run on their behalf by the British Council in association with the National Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education. Aimed at improving the English language skills of pupils in rural schools, the programme concentrates on building the capacity of English language teachers so they can deliver lessons more effectively. Another dimension to this programme is that CBB members also have the opportunity to sponsor individual teachers in an area of their choice and share in that individual’s teaching progress.