Mahesh Wijewardene stepped down as the Chairman of the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce after serving in the committee in the said capacity for three years. Under his guidance, numerous initiatives were carried out in order to assist the importers of the country. Speaking at the event, he stated that the industry is facing numerous challenges due to the policies adopted by the government that directly affects the importers in the country. However he mentioned that they are hopeful that the government will engage in consultation with the sector representatives and look at more consistent trade and tariff policies enabling the business sector to invest in sustainable business ventures. He thanked the respective authorities that have worked closely with the Import Section such as the Sri Lanka Customs, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Department of Commerce, Department of Import & Export Control, Sri Lanka Standards Institute and the Institute of Supply Chain Management.
Addressing the gathering Dr. Koshy Mathai mentioned that imports in the economy have fluctuated to an unprecedented degree. Dr. Mathai mentioned that looking at the macro economy, imports however useful they have to be financeable. He pointed out that even if the individual can finance a particular import, if the country as a whole is unable to finance that total quantity of imports, it is not viable and noted that it was the situation in Sri Lanka last year. He also went to say that for a couple of years there has been a fast growth in the economy and there has been some duty reductions and along with those developments, a burst in imports going from 13 million dollars to 20 million dollars just from 2010 to 2011.