The history of the Department of Commerce goes back to 1931, established during the period of British rule to facilitate commercial operations. This government institution was incorporated under the Ceylon State Council Order of 1931, which replaced the Ceylon Legislative Council of 1923. Under the section 32 of the Ceylon State Council Order seven Executive Committees were formed. The Executive Committeeon “Labour, Industry and Commerce” with its legislative powers, created Bureau of Commerce assigned with the subject of “Commerce”. After the independence, with the introduction of a Cabinet System of Government,the same institution now known as the Department of Commerce was assigned to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 29thSeptember 1947.

Throughout the years, with its institutional knowledge and capacity, the Department of Commerce has involved in formulation and implementing of Sri Lanka’s foreign trade policies at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, in close collaboration with relevant line ministries, authorities and private sector stakeholders.

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