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Mixed welcome for CHOGM

Mixed welcome for CHOGM

Sri Lankans are divided in their view on whether the Commonwealth Leaders Summit (CHOGM) next week will bring the necessary economic and investment benefits to the country, a Business Times (BT) poll this week shows. Respondents which included distinguished, retired civil servants, corporate heads, professionals, students and intellectuals, were however united in the position that [...]

266 BOI enterprises to lose tax holidays

Tax holidays for some 266 operating Board of Investment (BOI) enterprises in 12 export promotion zones in the island will soon end with the government deciding against granting extensions during the 2014 financial year, official sources said. New legislation will be introduced in this month’s budget to bring these enterprises under the tax system, a [...]

NDB ‘tests’ waters for US dollar bond

The National Development Bank (NDB) has ‘tested’ the appetite for its US dollar bond by visiting London, Singapore and Hong Kong in September, sources close to NDB said. They said that NDB had this mini roadshow with lead managers, Barclays, DBS Group and HSBC whom were appointed in March. The amount to be issued is [...]

Commonwealth Biz Forum raises $3 mln

The stage is set for the Commonwealth Business forum (CBF) at Cinnamon grand hotel in Colombo on Tuesday with over 1200 local and foreign business delegates confirmed participation, Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) officials said. It will increase to around 1400 delegates with last minute arrivals, Nilrusha Pieris, CBC Country Director told the Business Times. He [...]

UDA entices foreign investors to landmark buildings

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is hoping to attract foreign investors to lease several landmark old buildings such as the Ghafoor building after renovation, officials said. Nimal Perera, Chairman UDA told the Business Times that the Ghafoor building in Leyden Bastion Road, former Auditor General’s building at Torrington, former Dutch Hospital in Galle and another [...]

Joy for shareholders: Two banks announce AGM dates in March ‘14

At least two commercial banks are setting new, positive trends of publicly announcing dates of the annual general meetings, almost five months in advance. In what appears to be a response to requests, appeals and pleas from shareholders of different companies not to ‘bunch’ AGMs together, the Commercial Bank on Monday, November 4 informed the [...]

True son of Sri Lanka: Gamani Corea: 1925-2013

True son of Sri Lanka: Gamani Corea: 1925-2013

Gamani Corea, a distinguished Sri Lankan economist passed away on November 2, two days short of his 88th birthday. With his passing away, the well-known first generation of post-independence economists of Sri Lanka have almost faded away. Corea distinguished himself not only in domestic economic policy affairs but also in international diplomacy and policy. It [...]

Corea: Last of the Mohicans

The accolades and plaudits for Gamani Corea, one of Sri Lanka’s most distinguished local and international civil servants continued to flow in on Friday, five days after he was cremated in Colombo. While there is an appreciation on this page by a fellow economist and junior colleague of the humble Horton Place resident summarising the [...]

“HR Challenge: Dynamics of Value Creation and Competitiveness Through People”

As one grows older there is often the tendency to reflect back upon our life and its contribution to people and situations most near and dear to us, and especially to the legacy we hope to leave for succeeding generations. In the case of the late Prof. Sudatha Ranasinghe, despite a lifetime of distinguished service [...]

IPR vs Internet: How do you control ideas/knowledge on the web?

IPR vs Internet: How do you control ideas/knowledge on the web?

The advent of Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) has created a new debate and challenges in the global intellectual property rights (IPR) regime. Probably more headaches too! How, for example, do you legally manage ideas, inventions or innovations in such a complex (to control) environment? Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual [...]

Employers need ‘guts’ to ‘work out of the box’ says HR expert

Employers need ‘guts’ to ‘work out  of  the box’ says HR expert

Employers need to have ‘guts’ to implement changes that they believe in and would be out of the box but is the right choice, Lowe Joo Yong, Lecturer of National University of Singapore told a Colombo conference last week.  Speaking at the ‘Employers Symposium 2013’ held at Water’s Edge last week and organised by the [...]

Lankan SMEs invited to Swiss SME gathering in June 2014

Sri Lanka’s SMEs have been invited to take part in an Asia-Pacific SME meeting in June 2014 in Switzerland, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. Beat Ineichen, Senior Consultant India of Switzerland Global Enterprise (SGE), a global SME expert, was quoted by the ministry as saying that, “I have 17 years of SME experience [...]

Softlogic Finance CEO Nalin Wijekoon, president of Finance House Association

The Finance House Association of Sri Lanka (FHASL) has unanimously appointed Nalin Wijekoon – Director/CEO of Softlogic Finance PLC as the new President of FHASL for the year 2013 / 2014 at their Council Meeting held recently. Mr. Wijekoon brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having worked for over 30 years in [...]

Etihad Airways to screen live news and sport in-flight

Etihad Airways is set to transform in-flight entertainment options with the introduction of eight live television channels which will broadcast live news and sport, including this weekend’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi national said in a media release. The new live channels are BBC World News, BBC Arabic, euronews [...]

PUCSL to issue licences for renewable energy generation

The recent “Corporate Strategy and Plan 2014-2016″, issued by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), has signalled that this public sector body intends to issue generation licences for renewable energy sources, namely bio mass, wind and mii hydro. This is in line with the government’s policy to make renewable energy 10 per cent [...]

Taxes in Default Unit

The above unit of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has embarked on a money-making venture for the Government in the guise of calling for taxes already paid as “Taxes in default” (in most cases). You can simply get some old records as old as 10 to 15 years and blindly call them to pay the [...]

Nestle SL’s dairy development work profiled as best practices by UN agency

Sri Lanka’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, Nestlé Lanka PLC, grew by 8.2 per cent for the nine months ending 30 September 2013, posting a revenue of Rs. 23.1 billion and a profit of Rs. 2.6 billion against a challenging market environment. The Swiss-based company said its rural development efforts in Sri Lanka were [...]

Workers an essential component to sustain the tea industry

Reading some of the views expressed by eminent personnel in the tea industry it is quite apparent that this industry is in dire straits, giving a symptomatic impression that viability is being seriously threatened. The primary cause for this predicament is, as those entrusted to manage these holdings have repeatedly said, the shortage of workers. [...]

Inspection of businesses by various officers of the Tax Department

In an open letter to Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, a group of taxpayers, who wish to remain anonymous, have complained about too many inspections by tax officers. The letter says: “We as businessmen do our business with a lot of difficulties and manage the work very carefully. However in recent times, we are being [...]

New alternate director at Colombo Land

New alternate director at Colombo Land

Devadharshan Jayadeva, current CEO, has been appointed to the Board of Colombo Land and Development Co. PLC., as an alternate Director to Mr. Ng Yao Xing (Singaporean Director) with effect from November 1. Mr. Jayadeva has been with the company since 2005. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and [...]

StanChart Bank to facilitate business between the regions during CHOGM

Standard Chartered Bank, one of the principal sponsors of Commonwealth business forum, says it is ready to facilitate foreign and local business leaders to start their ventures here in Sri Lanka or in other countries as it has a strong presence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The bank has stepped in to facilitate [...]

Virtusa recognised with top British, Asian HR awards

With a workforce of 7,000 globally, of which 86 per cent are Millennials, a.k.a. Gen Yers, and the rest are Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, IT firm Virtusa has, to get the best out of employees, focused on employee engagement in conjunction with leveraging th inherent strengths of each of these unique groups. This mindset [...]

Dialog’s Nenasa TV connects 2000 Schools

Dialog’s Nenasa TV  connects 2000 Schools

Nenasa TV, the digital satellite television based Distance Learning Network architected by the Ministry of Education, National Institute of Education and Dialog Axiata, to bridge education enablement gaps between urban and rural Sri Lanka achieved a significant milestone in connecting its 2000th school under the programme. The event, held to mark the occasion, also signified [...]

Information security watch – m-Banking

Information security watch – m-Banking

Internet-enabled smartphones have triggered a rapid growth in the mobile applications market, which includes mobile entertainment, mobile information services and mobile shopping, facilitating a fundamental change in the banking industry. Smartphones have enabled banks to offer banking and payment services (m-services) through the mobile applications. Some banks just offer mobile financial information such as account [...]

SL key market for Oracle in Asia

Sri Lanka is a key emerging market for Oracle in the Asian region, along with Bangladesh and Pakistan, and some ASEAN countries, according to the IT Company’s Sales Director for SaaS – ASEAN Applications Business Akkasha Sultan Shaikh. Further, the local office of Oracle has been tasked with bringing in next generation platforms and more [...]

Mobitel extends mTicketing to railway warrants

State-owned celco Mobitel recently added a new service called mWarrants, an extension to its previously introduced mTicketing platform for purchasing train tickets. Through this new service, government employees can now reserve their train tickets much ahead of time, against their railway warrants. According to Mobitel’s statement; “By simply dialing 365 on their Mobitel phone, government [...]

SLT tapped for new CKE fibre optic network

Sri Lanka Telecom has been tapped to “provide consultancy services as well as oversee and inspect the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE) project’s communication infrastructure and issue an independent certification for fibre optic installation to assure its capacity to many terra bytes per second along the 25.8 km long Expressway”, according to a statement issued by the [...]

Social performance manager workswiftly.com goes live

Sri Lankan IT company Microimage has launched the live phase of its workswiftly.com social performance management platform. This follows the successful completion of a “Beta” testing period that started in July 2013. According to a statement, “Workswiftly social performance management systems [were] designed to answer the modern organisation’s need for a system of employee collaboration [...]

Proposed plant variety legislation in promoting economic growth

Sri Lanka is currently in the process of drafting a new law on plant variety protection (PVP). This is being done with the participation of all stakeholders including representatives from government, industry, and academia. The proposed Act helps Sri Lanka to fulfill an important TRIPs commitment: The TRIPs Agreement (Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement) allowed [...]

Palmyrah tree will reduce poverty in northern Sri Lanka

Palmyrah products are among the main sources of income in the north. Palmyrah or Panei are synonymous for a same thing. Sinhalese use it as Thal and Tamils use it as Panei to identify the Palmyrah tree. The scientific name of the tree is Borassus Fabelliformis. It yields a variety of food and beverages, handicrafts, [...]

HR and Finance: Why should they co-exist?

The CIMA and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently announced a major new strategic collaboration to foster closer working links between the Finance and HR professions. This is a very timely move to bring about the synergistic results between the financial and HR experts, in an era where many organisations are facing [...]

Husein takes over as Chairman of Hemas Group

Husein takes over as Chairman of Hemas Group

Hemas Holdings PLC on Wednesday announced the appointment of new chairman and CEO, with current CEO Husein Esufally taking over as chairman and long-time expatriate Steven Enderby being appointed as the CEO. Mr. Esufally’s replaces Lalith de Mel who retired after serving the company for over a decade, according to a company statement. However Mr. [...]

SC orders seizure of luxury jeep used by Kotelawala

The Supreme Court this week ordered the seizure of a Land Cruiser Jeep owned by failed Ceylinco Shriram and used by former Ceylinco Chief Lalith Kotelawala to raise cash to repay depositors. The decision was made by a Court bench headed by Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane on Tuesday when the hearing of the fundamental rights petition [...]

Infrastructure; not the only pillar to build success, says THASL President

Infrastructure projects and programmes are not the only pillars on which Sri Lanka could build success. Quality and value are the keys to success and product development while ‘how we deliver’ must become the new implicit motto, says Jayantissa Kehelpannala, President of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL). He made these comments at the [...]

Sri Lanka Inc. building a new brand, CB Governor says

Sri Lanka Inc. is moving towards the next level and the next era and the private sector should put their shoulder to the wheel to direct it towards the next phase for better life for all the people, Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said at a glittering ceremony to mark the Business [...]

Spanish hotel chain to manage new Aitken Spence hotel

Aitken Spence Hotels, Sri Lanka’s second largest hotel chain, is investing US$100 million in a 5-star, 500 room hotel to be managed by a Spanish hotel chain, officials said on Tuesday. Construction of the RIU branded hotel will start in June 2014 and the facility ready for occupation by winter 2015. This is the first [...]

Nanotechnology: Path to rapid economic development

Nanotechnology: Path to rapid economic development

On October 21 when President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, opened SLINTEC, the Nanotechnology Laboratory Complex of the Nanoscience Park at Homagama, it was indeed a landmark occasion in the history of Sri Lanka. Through this we have firmly joined the countries riding the new wave of advanced technology, Nanotechnology that is sweeping the world to a higher [...]

Norwegian luxury yacht docks into Colombo

Norwegian luxury yacht docks into Colombo

Norwegian luxury mega yacht ‘SeaDream II’, which made its maiden call at the Colombo Port last week, offers travellers a minimum package rate of US$ 3,500 per person inclusive of most available facilities.  The package price excludes the spa, duty free store and some of the expensive wines which are available onboard. Guests also can [...]

CEAT’s road safety programme extended to 85 schools

Efforts by CEAT Kelani Holdings, Sri Lanka’s leading tyre manufacturer, to inculcate respect for road rules on a national scale via workshops in schools around the country, approached a milestone with the company completing its 85th such programme in October this year. The programme which engages students, parents and transport providers — principally school van [...]

“Krrish site to be offered to CHOGM business delegates”

Krrish Transworks Colombo Pvt. Ltd, owners of the proposed Krrish mixed development project in Fort, has taken umbrage to last week’s report in the Business Times under the above headline. In a letter the company CEO R.P. Gupta says: The article refers to an unnamed official source that “The Government is to offer the Transwork [...]

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