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Tibetan Chamber of CommerceDharamshala — "Business with ethics is critical to Tibetans and also vital to the Tibetan economy; We should never forget our roots,” said Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay on April 24th as he inaugurated the 12th annual general meeting of the Tibetan Chamber of Commerce, the first coalition of Tibetan businessmen in exile.

Over 80 members of the association from various parts of the world including India and Nepal are participating in the two-day meeting being held at Dharamshala.

The first session was attended by Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Lobsang Ngodup, president of the Tibetan Chamber of Commerce, Ram Swaroop, Advisor to the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association (ITFA), CA Sathya Kumar, General Secretary Tsering Dorjee and members of the TCC.

In his address, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay congratulated the Tibetan Chamber of Commerce for the progress they have made since past 12 years. He talked about how we should reach out to our fellow Tibetans, in Tibet, through a joint venture in business through Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia.

Sikyong made a point to emphasize the importance of ethics even when it comes to business, saying, “While business objective could be approached in profit centric, the enlightened approach and vision is making profit along with trust and sustainability. Tibetan businesses should know how to apply the highest ethical standards to every aspect of their businesses and these values are very much embedded in our culture.

“Politeness, shown to the people investing in the business, is another crucial factor in ethical business. Business with ethics is critical to Tibetans and also vital to the Tibetan economy; We should never forget our roots,” he said.

He advised the Chamber to emulate the ethical business practices adopted by Tibetan sweater sellers such as sharing business knowledge, employing Tibetan workers and creating more opportunities for the budding Tibetan entrepreneurs. Particularly the Tibetan businesses must be respectful and considerate when entertaining customers, irrespective of nationality.

Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel talked about the social responsibility of Tibetan businesses towards its people, preserving and promoting the Tibetan culture and identity through their development programs. He called the chambers’ attention on problems of poverty inside Tibet, the growing disparity of rich and poor and encouraged serious discussion on alleviating such problems.

In his address, president of the Chamber, Lobsang Lama said, “The Tibetan Chamber of Commerce is not only about financial returns but about growing knowledge, growing friendship and growing partnerships. With His Holiness’ blessing, TCC has been able to build a mind-set 'Business with Ethics' which gives a proud feeling to all of us and we have to share this valuable mindset attitude with rest of the business world.”

During the meeting, the chamber presented lifetime achievement award to Mr Gyalnor Tsewang, former member of Tibetan parliament and ten-year graduation awards and appreciation awards to the new members of TCC.

The three-day annual general meeting of the Tibetan Chamber of Commerce will conclude on April 25th with a workshop on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a brainstorming round table session with all members led by CA Sathya Kumar.

The Tibetan Chamber of Commerce was organized by the Central Tibetan Administration's Department of Finance after the first Tibetan Business Conference in 2005. The Chamber was formed in order to enhance Tibetan business interests and support entrepreneurship in the Tibetan community. It currently has over 233 members from diverse backgrounds of business including carpet manufacturers, hoteliers, tour and travel agents.

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