Ceylon bank chairman holds talk with President Michel


Dr Wickramasinghe in talks with President Michel. On the left is Mr Haputhantri

Bank of Ceylon chairman Dr Gamini Wickramasinghe said this yesterday morning after meeting President James Michel at State House. He was accompanied by the bank’s assistant general manager of overseas branches Ranjith Haputhantri.

Dr Wickramasinghe said he came to Seychelles at the invitation of President Michel who in August made a state visit to Sri Lanka where he  visited the Colombo Dockyard and discussed various topics including possibilities of cooperation with the dockyard to meet ever increasing needs in the fields of shipbuilding and ship repair in Seychelles.

“We are here to see how we could help Seychelles, firstly in the fisheries sector and secondly in tourism. We will be doing a feasibility study and assess the business potential Seychelles can have with Sri Lanka,” added Dr Wickramasinghe, who will be meeting some of the country’s top officials while here.

Holder of a Master’s degree in Systems Analysis from the University of Aston, Birmingham, UK and a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, Dr Wickramasinghe said “there is a lot of room for financial activities in this beautiful country”.

He added that Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha Senaratne will be visiting Seychelles in the coming weeks accompanied by other top Sri Lankan government officials to hold further discussions on cooperation in fisheries, business development and education.

During President Michel’s August visit to Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government announced it would extend a credit line to Seychelles to use in trade and commercial transactions with Sri Lanka, particularly in boatbuilding ventures.

Dr Wickramasinghe said that the Bank of Ceylon will consider how it can help Seychelles in the fisheries and tourism industries. He will also meet officials from the government to discuss the terms of the line of credit.

He also said there will be a feasibility study to determine the potential of the Bank of Ceylon operating in Seychelles – months after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his government would consider the possibility of opening a Bank of Ceylon branch here.

“We can see the potential and the bank can join in the country’s development efforts. I think we can mutually benefit from this,” said Dr Wickramasinghe.

Dr Wickramasinghe was first appointed chairman of the board of Bank of Ceylon in May 2007 and re-appointed in May 2010. He serves as an independent non-executive director on the board.

With extensive senior level experience obtained in the United Kingdom (UK) and Belgium, Dr Wickramasinghe brings to the Board business experience in both domestic and international markets.

Managing director of Informatics Group of Companies, one of the largest software development houses in the country, Dr Wickramasinghe was the chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2009 and the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2008.

He is also the chairman of Bank of Ceylon (UK) Limited, Property Development PLC and Ceybank Holiday Homes (Private) Limited and a Director of Mireka Capital Land (Private) Limited, The Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC and Koladeniya Hydropower (Private) Limited.