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Blouse start-up

Blouse start-up

This vendor is selling saree blouse pieces outside a shop in Main Street, Pettah. Maybe Sri Lanka’s burgeoning start-up industry can help him go high tech! Pic by Anuradha Bandara  

Govt. moves fast with new Inland Revenue bill

The Sri Lankan government is rushing to enact a new Inland Revenue Bill prepared with International Monetary Fund (IMF) expertise without adequate consultation with public and private sector stakeholders, tax officials and experts warned. The Finance Ministry is planning to finalise this bill shortly and if it is unable to enact in parliament soon, then [...]

Damro sitting on 22,000 ha: Caters to Indian demand

Furniture manufacturer Damro Group in a bid to cater to mounting demand for its furniture products bought Agalawatte and Pussellawa Plantations early this week and are now sitting on 22,000 hectares of a land base. LOLC-controlled Browns Power Holdings Ltd on Monday exited from the troubled Agalawatte Plantations, which owes a staggering Rs. 2.5 billion [...]

Most RPCs in the dumps, study shows

The government has carried out an assessment of the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and found them to be performing far below expectations.   The committee appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to study the lease agreements and way forward of the RPCs headed by R. Paskaralingam has carried out an assessment of the plantations. Since privatisation [...]

Companies hurry bonus payments to beat taxes

Several Sri Lankan companies have paid bonuses to employees due in April, a few weeks ahead (in March) in an effort to beat the impending tax hike. The maximum personal tax has gone up to 24 per cent from 16 per cent and was to be effective from April 1. However the above mentioned tax, [...]

BIA reopens Apr 6, most flights on Apr 7

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will reopen on April 6 as scheduled, after a 3-month day-break for urgent repairs, but most of the flights will start operating only on April 7, according to officials. “According to schedules we have received, the day schedules are only resuming on Friday April 7,” one agent said. Airport officials [...]

Rights and responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities

The meeting started, as usual composed, as officials took their seats and the audience – representing various consumer groups and the public — prepared for a 2-hour interaction with officials representing state utilities – water, electricity and petroleum. The event was the second annual forum titled ‘Consumer Rights Forum’ organised by the Public Utilities Commission [...]

Sri Lanka can become a 1st World Nation

Sri Lanka can become a 1st World Nation

Since independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has been doomed to be a poor nation without a way of getting out of the “poor nation” status due to an archaic, self-destructive underlying economic framework that was imposed on Sri Lanka. The country unfortunately still operates under the same self-destructive economic system and unless we change this [...]

Top investor Dr. Senthilverl key player in listless CSE

Dr. T. Senthilverl has been quite an active  high networth investor (HNWI), the only silver lining in an otherwise Colombo stock market so far this year, trading data showed. Possibly in the top two HNWIs in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), he entered the top 20 shareholder’s list at Expolanka Holdings PLC during the first [...]

Dentsu Aegis Network acquires SL ad industry pioneer, Grant Group

Dentsu Aegis Network this week announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the Grant Group, the largest independent creative agency and the pioneer of advertising in Sri Lanka. The acquisition of the 59-year-old integrated agency is Dentsu Aegis Network’s first foray into the island nation and one of the largest agency groups to enter [...]

Sri Lankan-made flip flops in Dubai

Sri Lankan-made flip flops in Dubai

Waves, famous locally for its brand of flip flops footwear, recently introduced the brand to the UAE. Felicitating the establishment of the brand in the new market, the official launch happened at Laola, Kite Beach in Dubai. Waves flip flops are available across all Lulu department stores in the UAE. The stores include 3 in [...]

Avurudu visits from Sri Lanka Insurance

Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) officers will be visiting households across the island this Avurudu season with a message on the importance of being protected. The SLI officers will be visiting households on April 1 and April 22. The awareness campaign will be held island-wide and it’s another effort by the strongest national insurer to propagate [...]

Pakistani President confers prestigious award on Sri Lanka’s Ifthikhar Aziz

Ifthikhar Aziz, President of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association, was conferred with national honours in Pakistan last week by President Mamnoon Hussain. He received the prestigious “Tamgha -I-Khidmat” award in recognition of his outstanding role in advancing Pakistan – Sri Lanka bilateral relations, promoting trade relations plus academic and cultural links between [...]

CPC and LIOC agree to Trincomalee Tank Farm business plan

The Sri Lankan Government is going ahead with a business plan to develop the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm jointly by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Lanka IOC, Petroleum Resources Development Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. Despite disputes on the lease agreement of the tank farm tainted with legal issues and protests of trade unions, a [...]

Energetic STBC members articulate views on national issues in out-of-the box event

Energetic STBC members articulate views on national issues in out-of-the box event

There was a burst of energy as members of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) took turns in serving as panellists in four different discussions on Tuesday at the Kingsbury Colombo, articulating their own views and solutions on a range of national issues. The event: The STBC’s monthly meeting which normally takes the form of [...]

Bundlhub – bundling castoffs into cash

Bundlhub – bundling  castoffs into cash

It’s been a few months since your wedding and that steam iron your aunt gave you is still pining away, yet to be used. The used ice cream set that seemed like a great idea at the time when it was a Christmas present by your in-laws has joined the darkest recesses of the pantry [...] drone deliveries is the next new ‘thing’ drone deliveries is the next new ‘thing’ the online marketing firm has cottoned onto an innovative delivery idea – use of drones. In a bid to see if a drone can carry a load of up to 250 grammes, a test run was done to ascertain the viability of delivering orders in Colombo through this process, limited to this weightage. “We [...]

Biggies want freshers to start them up in new biz

There’s a lot going on for many local corporates in terms of fresh ideas. Firms such as Expolanka Holdings PLC (Expo), Guardian Capital Partners PLC and Hemas Holdings PLC are some of the public quoted firms that have cottoned onto the start-up trailblazers. While Expo aims to facilitate an incubation centre that provides a whole [...]

Jobs at the click of a button

The first ever paperless job in Sri Lanka is a novel creation by to facilitate linkages between employer and job-seekers and by drastically reducing paper work involved in such correspondence. It offers jobs seekers a new and innovative way of applying for jobs in Sri Lanka, said the Managing Director of, Rushabh Sheth [...]

Food for thought in destination marketing campaign

Food for thought in destination marketing campaign

It is certainly good news that Sri Lanka Tourism is planning a destination campaign and this is a long felt need by the tourism industry since the conflict ended a long time ago. It is also commendable the efforts of the Promotion and Convention Bureau officials for the excellent work done under difficult conditions with [...]

SriLankan Airlines eyes more suitors

SriLankan Airlines  eyes more suitors

The due diligence engagement by the Texas Pacific Group (TPG) to assess SriLankan Airlines’ commercial viability won’t limit the government from entertaining other interested suitors for the national carrier. Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim speaking at the Malaysian Business Council, Breakfast Meeting recently said that TPG is doing a due diligence, but they may [...]

Travel agents to cash in on service fee after July 1

Travel agents to cash in on  service fee after July 1

Travel agents, faced with the July 1 suspension of the commission from SriLankan Airlines ticket sales, are likely to opt for cashing in on a yet-to-be levied service fee to sustain the business. While the July 1 move would encourage travel agents to move into the online booking systems, there would be provision to make [...]

Tourist travel in Sri Lanka to get facelift

Sri Lanka Tourism is set to get a boost with a new outlook on the way in which the future of travel to the country is to be planned with the assistance of global consultant Mckinsey and Company. During a one day workshop at Temple Trees, there had been an exchange of ideas and identification [...]

Cinnamon TBCasia sets benchmark at ITB Berlin

Cinnamon TBCasia sets benchmark at ITB Berlin

Sri Lanka was in the spotlight at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show, which is attended by over 10,000 exhibitors and over 120,000 trade visitors from across the globe. The case study of Cinnamon TBCasia took centre-stage as the first travel bloggers’ conference of its kind to be conducted in Asia, effectively bringing [...]

Top speakers at PATA summit in Negombo

Top speakers at PATA summit in Negombo

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will be holding its annual 2017 summit in Sri Lanka on May 18-21 at the Jetwing Blue Hotel in Negombo. The organisation said in a media release that the PATA Annual Summit programme (PAS 2017) “embraces the dynamic one-day conference and the PATA Youth Symposium that allows students and [...]

UNICEF brings Sri Lankan corporates together to discuss investing in children

UNICEF Sri Lanka recently brought together a group of Sri Lankan business and their senior officials to listen to and contribute to a panel discussion last week in Colombo entitled ‘From Cognitive Capital to Business Capital: Why investing in children makes better business sense’. The expert panel featured Samantha Ranatunga, Chief Executive and CEO of [...]

Export earnings down in 2016, imports up amidst rupee losing value-Central Bank

Sri Lanka’s export earnings fell by 2.2 per cent last year amidst a 2.5 per cent increase in import costs to US$19 billion compared to 2015 and a sharp depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar, according to latest Central Bank (CB) data. Foreign outflows (sales) from the government securities market amounted to $324.3 [...]

Sri Lankan-based innovation company helps Northern Ireland company to launch at DigiHealth

Mitra Innovation, a UK and Sri Lankan based company (with an additional office in Australia) specialising in SaaS technology platform incubation, digital transformation and Cloud-to-Cloud integration, has over the last year helped a Northern Ireland based company, Kraydel, to build its innovative new healthcare technology platform and launch it onto the market. Early March was [...]

iNube and Global Business Counselling Strategic Alliance for APAC Markets

iNube Software Solutions (iNube), an Indian software products and services company with a niche focus on insurance domain, has entered into a strategic partnership with Global Business Counselling (GBC), a Singapore and Sri Lanka-based consulting group for Asia pacific region. This partnership is strategic to both entities and will benefit Sri Lanka and the other [...]

Fairfax consolidates Sri Lanka operations under Fairfirst Insurance Ltd

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (Fairfax) announced that it has successfully completed the amalgamation of Fairfirst Insurance Ltd (Fairfirst) and Union Assurance General Ltd (UAG). The amalgamated entity will operate as Fairfirst Insurance Ltd with effect from February 28, 2017, the company said in a recent media release. The rights and obligations arising from all insurance [...]

Fund allocation for EXIM Bank creates controversy

The delay in the setting up of an Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank) in Sri Lanka and the discrepancy in the allocation of funds for this purpose by the Treasury have triggered confusion pushing the government’s ambitious plan into the doldrums, economic analysts said. The proposal to set up the EXIM Bank, with an initial [...]

Sri Kumar consulted to steer oil palm industry in Sri Lanka

Sri Kumar consulted to steer oil palm industry in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government has turned to some of its local experts to reposition a long foregone and controversial crop – oil palm – for cultivation in the country as a lucrative venture with advice sought from one of the pioneers involved in introducing it here, S. Sri Kumar. Returning home in 1985 after a [...]

EIB to support sustainable investment in Sri Lanka

The European Invest Bank (EIB) has stepped in to assist Sri Lanka in the implementation of climate related investment projects as it is a key focus of current operations of the bank, Vice President of the bank Andrew McDowell told a media conference in Colombo this week. Sustainable infrastructure, small and medium scale enterprises development, [...]

Acrus Shipping looks beyond Sri Lanka by foraying into Singapore

With several major shipping companies promoting their full bouquet of services in a hotbed of competition in Colombo, Hambantota and Galle ports, Acrus Shipping (Pvt) Ltd has forayed outside Sri Lanka by establishing their first regional office (hub) in Singapore recently, after over five years of operations in the island. This marks one of the [...]

LOLC bullish in microfinancing

Having inked a joint venture with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Ltd of Pakistan, the LOLC Group last week acquired a majority interest in PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd (PRASAC) which aims to diversify its business and transform into a licensed commercial bank in the near future. The company is also considering going to Indonesia next year [...]

Trade with neighbours first, then comes the others – Harry J

If South Asian countries get together and do business, there won’t be a need to reach out to the Europe and Western countries, says businessman Harry Jayawardena, Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC. He made this statement at an event organised by the company recently  – the partnership of Aitken Spence PLC with the second largest [...]

Sri Lanka’s power grid soon to be connected to India’s power grid

Plans are underway to connect Sri Lanka’s power grid with the Indian power grid to boost power generation within the next five years. “The Sri Lankan government is already having talks with the Indian government on this project,” according to Chairman of the Electricity Board (CEB) Anura Wijayapala. He was speaking at the Sri Lanka [...]

Future of retail banking comes alive thro’ MTL, Lake House Printers

Future of retail banking comes alive thro’ MTL, Lake House Printers

The future of retail banking came alive at the launch of Digital Banking Solution provided by Manipal Technologies Ltd (MTL), India in association with Lake House Printers and Publishers PLC (LHPP) in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday in Colombo. Speaking at the occasion, Abhay Gupte, CEO of MTL stated that “Our [...]

Local industry affected by China-Sri Lanka FTA

A group of local industrialists have expressed strong concerns over the proposed China – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, pointing out that the FTA could have serious and detrimental effects on the country’s domestic industries, if implemented. The Association of Laminated Flexible Packaging Manufacturers, a body of local entrepreneurs representing the packaging industry, stated in [...]

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