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World’s first Climate Change Research Station in Sri Lanka

World’s first Climate Change  Research Station in Sri Lanka

Dilmah, the only Sri Lankan tea brand that has established a presence in 100 countries, is setting up the world’s first Climate Research Station at Queensberry Estate in Nawalapitiya. The research station built at an elevation of 1645 metres, the highest point of any estate at Dilmah-owned Kahawatte Plantations, will facilitate future research in measuring [...]

Unused funds, revenue delays hurt Govt. performance

Unused budget allocations, delays in collecting revenue and other bottlenecks in government institutions have affected the performance of ministries and state institutions in 2016 and 2017, economic analysts said. “There had been several instances where balances remained for a long period in the Treasury’s General Deposit Account,” one analyst said adding that the Treasury is [...]

What, less Toddy?

New regulations have been promulgated banning the extraction of toddy from the coconut tree. Amendments to the Excise (Amendment) Act, No. of 2017 which comes into operation on January 1, 2018 says, “(b) no tree producing toddy, other than kithul tree shall be tapped”. It goes on to state that “no toddy shall be drawn [...]

Shangri-La Colombo tunes up paradise island

The Shangri-La chain’s 101st hotel located in Colombo and scheduled to open next month with the largest pillar-less ballroom in the city, is gearing to attract MICE travellers to Sri Lanka. The ballroom still under construction has already gathered interest among the public for a wedding and another event scheduled to be held soon after [...]

Who will serve my guests? Ask Hoteliers

Hoteliers in Sri Lanka short on staff are running to the villages in search of new hands to join the booming tourism industry to meet future demand. Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte told the Business Times on Thursday that the industry needs an additional 250,000 workers by 2025 to run [...]

Aiyo! Mr. Public Servant

Aiyo! Mr. Public Servant

With the presentation of the national 2018 budget just two weeks away, this week’s Thursday morning was spent reflecting on the country’s enormous debt and the legacy of a Treasury with a bottomless pit that would be left to the present generation (those aged above 18 years) and those to come. Government economic planners have [...]

Calls for a paradigm shift in the Government Budget 2018

Calls for a paradigm shift in the Government Budget 2018

Everybody is expecting magical changes in the November 9 budget that would rehabilitate the crisis-hit economy while improving the worsening macroeconomic fundamentals. Bad governance in procurement is considered as the root cause of the problem of all these accelerating economic crisis. Debt-capital based development projects in particular are not generating direct and indirect benefits to [...]

Colombo bourse has 750,000 investors; plans public survey

A national survey is to be conducted shortly by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), which has 750,000 investors, to gauge public knowledge and awareness on investing in Sri Lanka’s share market. The CSE, in a media release on Wednesday, said the national survey is to be conducted amongst the adult population with disposable income in [...]

Powerboating action next month in Bentota

The Lanka Powerboat Association will unveil a unique, action packed powerboat weekend schedule for both Formula 2 (Super Cat) and P750/Thundercat powerboats in Bentota on November 11 and 12. The International Powerboat Championship will be a bi-annual event with two classes of powerboat involved: F2 powerboats and P750 /Thundercat boats, a media release issued by [...]

New e-commerce laws major boost to Sri Lankan trade and commerce

The Electronic Transactions Amendment Bill was approved by the Sri Lankan parliament on Monday, providing a major boost to commerce, business and trade in the digital era. It was presented to Parliament by the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure. The Digital Infrastructure Ministry took the lead initiative with ICT Agency (ICTA) to prepare this [...]

Germany supports Sri Lanka’s path towards a green energy future

Germany supports Sri Lanka’s path towards a green energy future

The Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) was recently picked as the Green Energy Champion 2017, in the second year of a competition launched by the German Federal Foreign Office together with other partners. The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy of Sri Lanka, and the project implementing partner Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit [...]

Australian consultants discuss tourism plans

Authorities are currently in discussion with Australian authorities to obtain consultancy services to assist the industry’s forward thinking plans. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara told the Business Times that through the Australian High Commission they had approached consultants in Australia to assist in the promotion of Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. Dismissing [...]

Crisis in Lankan hotels likely to worsen in winter season

Crisis in Lankan hotels likely to worsen in winter season

Employees in Sri Lanka’s crisis-hit hotel industry are threatening union action during the upcoming winter season if their decades-long demands are not met in the upcoming budget 2018. One of the concerns is reduced service charge payments with hotels reducing service charges by at least 40 per cent to workers due to low occupancies. The [...]

Being Singaporean: Visa-free travel to 159 countries

A citizen of Singapore enjoys the most freedom in the world when it comes to travel, with visa-free travel to 159 countries. In second place are Germans who can visit 158 countries visa-free. Having a passport from Sweden or South Korea gets you into 157 countries. Number 6 are the US or Canadian passports, which [...]

Rising stars in tourism shine

Rising stars in tourism shine

Sri Lanka is aiming to attract the numbers to meet its targets in tourist arrivals and this needs to be achieved irrespective of whether they are high spenders or not and staying at formal or informal accommodation units. The numbers matter whether in the formal or informal sector; high spenders can come “but we need [...]

Tourism promo by DMCs in key markets

Sri Lanka will be securing the services of Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) in other countries to carry out promotions in those respective markets as part of its global marketing campaign that should be finalised by the end of December. As part of the first stage of appointing DMCs in eight of the prime markets, an [...]

Gender-based discrimination serious problem in SL workplace

Discrimination against Sri Lankan women on a gender basis and gender-based violence in the workplace must end to create an enabling environment for young men and women to secure employment and gain training and skills, a women’s activist said last week. Jayanthi Kuru-Uthumpala, the first woman and the first Sri Lankan to scale Mount Everest [...]

Sri Lankan start-ups to get funding from USAID’s ‘YouLead’ project

Even though Sri Lanka has plenty of talent and enthusiasm among its growing young entrepreneurs, a stumbling block is the lack of capital funding to start their own businesses to showcase the innovative ideas or business models to the rest of the world. On the one hand youth unemployment is on the rise, on the [...]

Kalhari wins 9 export awards in 10 years

Kalhari wins 9 export awards in 10 years

Sri Lanka’s Kalhari Group engaged in the recycling and export of waste products with the dual objectives of environment conservation and foreign exchange earnings, has won nine export awards in the past 10 years. The most recent one was at the National Export Awards organised by the National Chamber of Exporters which celebrated its Silver [...]

Net profit doesn’t repay loans

Lending is one of the most important functions of financial institutions.All banking and non-banking institutions in the country earn their main income by way of interest on lending. It is therefore extremely important for lending officers of such institutions to arrange all lending propositions in such a way that it can be recovered without any [...]

CPC in last ditch effort to turn viable

In a last ditch attempt to transform the debt-ridden Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to a viable venture, the present management of the state-owned entity is set to implement several strategic projects worth billions of rupees, top officials of the CPC said. This move comes in the wake of the agreement reached between the government and [...]

Union Bank reports strong 9 months’ growth in 2017

Union Bank, continuing its strong growth momentum, has reported a pre-tax profit of Rs. 437 million for the 9-month period ending September 2017, up 44 per cent from the same 2016 period. In a media announcement, the bank said post-tax profit was up 8 per cent at Rs.341.4 million by end September while the post-tax [...]

SL banks minimum capital requirements increased

The Central Bank on Thursday increased the minimum capital requirements for new and existing banks saying it was to ensure “a stronger and dynamic banking sector”. Banks have to reach these levels by end 2020, three years from now. Accordingly, the minimum capital requirements for new licensed commercial banks (LCBs) is Rs. 20 billion while [...]

Arden Institute’s awards event

Arden Institute’s awards event

Arden Institute, Sri Lanka’s premier personal and professional development training institute, recently concluded its second course in Guest Service Gold & Trip Advisor Reputation Management Training for the hotel and hospitality industry. It was done in collaboration with the American Hotel Lodging & Educational Institute (AHLEI), Arden’s academic partner. “This training course has given a [...]

Two Sri Lankan cement makers reach settlement over trade mark dispute

Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC has agreed to a settlement over a suit filed against Ruhunu Lanka Cement (Pvt) Ltd in the Commercial High Court of the Western Province in a trade mark infringement dispute. Tokyo Cement has alleged that the trade names of the brands that the two companies distributed were similar and filed [...]

TRC ranks Mobitel’s 4G Network as ‘Fastest Broadband Network’

Mobitel has achieved another milestone – being ranked as the ‘Fastest Broadband Network’ on 4G by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). This is based on the latest speed tests conducted by TRCSL, Mobitel said in a media release on Monday. “Compared to the other telecommunication service providers, in terms of fastest and [...]

Cost of living rises in September

Cost of living rises in September

Cost of living or inflation, measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), rose by 8.6 per cent in September 2017 from 7.9 per cent in August 2017, on year-on-year basis. Both food and non-food categories contributed towards the year-on-year inflation in September [...]

Sri Lanka’s advertising industry to reach great heights

Sri Lanka’s advertising industry  to reach great heights

While advertising is believed to be the driver for growth of businesses globally, not many agencies have shown that kind of success in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s advertising trends have drastically shifted from traditional to digital advertising behaviour within a short span of time. While advertising is revolutionising the world on a mass scale, there [...]

Sri Lanka’s sugar industry to be developed in future

Plans are afoot to grow sugar cane in Sri Lanka on a large scale apart from importing and distributing sugar. “We are investing US$15 million for storage and distributing sugar in the country to benefit consumers,” said Pyramid’s Wilmar’s Sri Lanka Managing Director, Sajjad Mawzoon at the launch of the new Meadowlea fat spread held [...]

Durdans to heal patients with new strategies

Durdans to heal patients with new strategies

Durdans hospital, Sri Lanka’s very first healthcare institution, is pioneering new technology with new age entrepreneurs in line with its major infrastructure and remodelling programme. The oldest private sector healthcare institution with a history of over seven decades has cottoned onto some new age start-ups to up its game. Among these initiatives added to its [...]

CogCom: Not a small cog in the mainframe of things

The only most important general-purpose technology of our era, Artificial Intelligence (AI) that we in our youth came close to was KITT, an artificially intelligent electronic computer module in the body of a highly advanced, very mobile, robotic automobile in the Knight Rider series that follow the adventures of Michael Knight, a modern-day crime fighter. [...]

OpenArc and Abans Finance to lead digital banking, cashless society

OpenArc, a leading software company and an IT Campus headed by Daya Hettiarachchi, recently signed an agreement with Abans Finance, to replace the entire software solution implemented by OpenArc at Abans Finance many years ago. It would be replaced with a brand new Core banking software solution popularly known as ‘SkyBank’ together with a digital [...]

Post ABAF – Local start-ups on regional radar

Post ABAF – Local start-ups on regional radar

Local start-ups are on their way to get funded by regional investors as a result of the Asian Business Angels Forum’ (ABAF) in Colombo recently. “Roar, Mosurance, Big Buddy, etc are firms that will get funded in the immediate future. Others are on their way to get funded with due diligences being carried out,” Prajeeth [...]

Linear Squared in line to serve the future needs

Linear Squared (Pvt) Ltd, founded two years ago by two dynamic Sri Lankans is readying for their new game. The only company specialised in data science and advanced analytics solutions in Sri Lanka, its founders, Dr. Sankha Muthu Poruthotage and Rajith Munasinghe have displayed the country’s best resources in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) [...]

US companies in Sri Lanka employ 40,000

US companies located in Sri Lanka have generated employment for nearly 40,000 locals. Asked by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe what American businesses do in Sri Lanka, US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said they collectively employ at least 30,000 to 40,000 people in varied sectors. Contents of his speech delivered during a visit with [...]

New chairman at Union Bank

New chairman at Union Bank

The Board of Directors of Union Bank of Colombo PLC has announced the appointment of Atul Malik as Chairman of the bank with effect from October 25. Some 70 per cent of the shares are owned by Cayman Islands-registered company, Cultural Financial Holdings Ltd. Mr. Malik is a veteran banker with widespread experience in the [...]

Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association launches loyalty card

A loyalty programme to recognise and reward employees and staff in the retail sector was launched by the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) recently. This programme is in appreciation of the services rendered to the retail industry by all levels of the workforce and for their contribution in making this sector a dynamic one, the [...]

Nahil steps down

Powerful businessman Nahil Wijesuriya has stepped down as chairman of East West Properties Ltd with Nishantha Sooriyaarachchi being appointed the new chairman. Confirming this announcement which appears on the Colombo Stock Exchange website, Mr. Wijesuriya said Mr. Sooriyaraachchi, earlier an Executive Director, has been hands on with the company for the past two decades. “He’s [...]

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