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Veteran Sri Lankan industrialist felicitated

Veteran Sri Lankan industrialist felicitated

Retiring Ceylon Biscuits (CBL) Chairman Micky Wickramasinghe flanked by former Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, new CBL Chairman Ramya Wickramasinghe and Group Managing Director, CBL – (Ms) Sheamali Wickramasinghe at a Colombo felicitation for the veteran industrialist on Wednesday. Pic by Indika Handuwala

John takes tourism by the horns

Sri Lanka’s new tourism minister is planning on whipping those involved in price undercutting; re-examining a hurriedly called promotional tender; and mooting a foreign expertise-spun master plan. In the wake of the recent drop in profits in a number of Colombo city hotels it was found that with occupancy levels going down hoteliers were involved in [...]

BOI gets tough with bribe-demanding officials

The Board of Investment (BOI) is to permit foreign firms to invest in BOI companies, a move which wasn’t encouraged earlier, officials said. In another move, the agency is getting tough with politicians and local government officials demanding bribes to approve investments in the provinces. “Earlier (due to Exchange Control) foreign firms weren’t allowed or encouraged [...]

Taxi app PickMe rings up Rs. 150 mln in private funding

Taxi app PickMe rings up  Rs. 150 mln in private funding

Popular Sri Lankan taxi aggregator app PickMe has already extended its local reach to about 75,000 users and 2,000 taxis, of which 70 per cent are trishaws, within the three short months since the app went live to the public on in June this year. This also followed several months of a pilot wherein, since [...]

Heavy taxes could send local casinos reeling

The soon-to-be imposed billion rupee one-off special tax recommended in the 2015 interim budget on four existing casinos could drive these casinos to the ground, gaming industry sources said. However the new government’s proposed move to restrict casinos only for foreigners and ban locals from entry as announced by new Tourism Minister John Amaratunge will not [...]

Holistic view needs to be considered for development path

Holistic view needs to be considered for development path

Institutions of good governance The foundation of good governance for the development effort is provided by the accountability and institutional framework. Accountability will be facilitated further by the nine Commissions, which will be enhanced, if adopted, by the legal framework of the Right to Information Act (RTI). Operational efficiency, however, will depend on the effectiveness [...]

Treasury and the Public Service – Comment

The dust has, hopefully, settled on the election process and the selection of the new cabinet, a large group of state ministers and deputy ministers. Already the ‘Yahapalanaya” doctrine of good governance is being thrown in the faces of the President and the Prime Minister as disenchantment grows over not only the size of a [...]

Commercial Bank receives FinanceAsia Best Bank Country Award 2015

Commercial Bank receives FinanceAsia Best Bank Country Award 2015

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently received the 2015 FinanceAsia award for the ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ at an awards ceremony at the Ritz – Carlton in Hong Kong, according to a bank media release. This fifth ‘FinanceAsia Country Award for Achievement’ presented to Commercial Bank by the magazine was accepted on behalf of [...]

Common terminal for Mastercard, Diners payments soon in SL

Common terminal for Mastercard, Diners payments soon in SL

A state-of-the-sart electronic transaction and payment solutions will be introduced shortly in Sri Lanka eventually replacing automated teller machines (ATM) widely used in banks, supermarkets, financial providers and clearing houses in the country. Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of West International Sten Karlsson said his company and Interblocks have launched a new device for processing payments in [...]

UDA assures investors it will repay Rs. 10 bln debentures

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) this week assured investors that they can redeem their debentures by the due date – October 5. The assurance was given by UDA Chairman Ranjith Fernando in a response to last week’s Business Times story headlined “UDA’s Cash Crunch pushes Rs.10 billion debenture in a quandary”. In a letter, the UDA [...]

NDBIB arranges Rs. 1 bln for Resus Energy Group

As part of the capital restructuring process to unlock shareholder value, the subsidiaries of Resus Energy PLC (REP) (formerly known as Hemas Power PLC) raised over Rs. 1 billion via a syndicated debt facility with the participation of National Developmet Bank and Sampath Bank. NDB Investment Bank Ltd (NDBIB), in a media release, said it [...]

MillenniumIT wins top Microsoft award at Florida event

Leading financial software and technology solutions provider MillenniumIT received the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year 2015 award at the recently held ‘Worldwide Partner Conference’ in Orlando, Florida. MillenniumIT was honoured among top players in a global arena for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions using mobile-first cloud-first based Microsoft solutions, the [...]

New entrance for Cinnamon Grand Oak Room patrons

Cinnamon Grand Colombo has opened an added (and more convenient) entry point for guests patronising the hotel’s grand ballroom (Oak Room). The Oak Room, considered Colombo’s most sought after venue for events will enhance its capacity with this new value addition which has created an exclusive roadway that connects to Utharananda Road (Nawam Mawatha) for easier [...]

A management journal that should engage the SL business sector

NSBM Journal of Management, Volume 1, No. 1 January – June, 2015 Editor: Prof Mangala Fonseka Business Management continues to grow and expand as an academic discipline and there is a growing body of literature on the subject –text books, research studies, journals, newspaper articles and the like. The Sri Lanka Journal of Management published [...]

Sri Lanka could be richer than any oil exporter if all the gem deposits are properly mined

Sri Lanka could be richer than any oil exporter if all the gem deposits are properly mined

Sri Lanka is known to be a country with huge deposits of gem stones across the country and planners need to look at these deposits through an economic and export perspective, Dr. Harsha De Silva, former Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs has said. Speaking at the inauguration of FACETS Sri Lanka 2015, [...]

EAP Films and Village Cinemas to set up JV in Sri Lanka

Village Roadshow of Australia and EAP Group of Sri Lanka are to jointly look at opportunities in Sri Lanka to develop modern cinema multiplexes, Theme Parks, Satellite Pay TV, Property, Digital Multimedia Advertising and other cinema-related value added revenue streams. A MOU for this purpose was signed recently between the two parties, according to an [...]

Education-strong SL has moved down international education rankings

Sri Lanka, once an epitome of good, quality education in the pre- and immediate-post independence era, has seen a serious erosion of this once, quality sector when compared to international standards, according to experts. According to global data published in 2015, Sri Lanka has been placed as the 77th country (in ranking) where education was [...]

Classic Travel optimises Business Continuity Plan to gain a competitive edge

Classic Travel has optimised its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to safeguard the continuity of each component of its business and ensure maximum benefits to customers. Classic Travel’s BCP covers a fundamental aspects of its business including Corporate Sales Divisions located at Classic Travel head office, Outbound travel, MICE Division, Frequent Individual Travel [...]

Weak laws cause of substandard goods in the Sri Lanka market

Sri Lankan manufacturers and importers, due to weak product liability laws compared to stronger laws in other countries, tend to sell their products without proper quality or standards. This was the view expressed by Dr Lalith N Senaweera, Director General/CEO, Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) when he addressed the 23rd AGM of the Lanka Confectionery [...]

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts to focus on “Future of Tourism Summit” this month

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts to focus on “Future of Tourism Summit” this month

A key summit this month based on the future of Sri Lankan tourism is set to bring out interesting facts and innovative ideas that would contribute to a sustainable tourism industry going forward. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is hosting the first-ever ‘Future of Tourism & Responsible Tourism for Driving Revenue’ Summit, featuring an eminent panel [...]

Sri Lanka wins bid to host PATA World Congress in 2017

Sri Lanka wins bid to host PATA World Congress in 2017

The global travel industry’s top body Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has picked Sri Lanka to host its Annual Summit in 2017, the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau (SLCB) said. PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy made the announcement while speaking at a SLCB event on the sidelines of the PATA summit in Bangalore this week. Mr. [...]

Jetwing Hotels to host PATA delegates in Negombo

The selection of Negombo for hosting the Pacific Asia Travel Association(PATA) Annual Summit in 2017 was due to the its proximity to the airport and the destination’s rich and colourful history, Jetwing Hotels said this week. The summit is scheduled to be hosted at the Jetwing Hotels which is the single largest accommodation provider in Negombo, [...]

SL Conventions Bureau seeks 10% of Indian outbound MICE market

Meetings and Conventions into Sri Lanka particularly from India were stagnant in the past two years due to inadequate targeted marketing and perceived high pricing in comparison to regional competitors. Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau CEO Vipula Wanigasekara speaking with the Business Times said they had observed a slide in the momentum in the last two [...]

Medical Tourism cashes in on global $10.5 bln industry

Sri Lanka is beginning to look to the growing global medical tourism industry with at least one company signing up with the Seychelles authorities offering medical services in Colombo. Medical Tourism, the new company headed by Jude Samaraweera who spoke with the Sunday Times said his company had facilitated an agreement with Hemas Hospitals and the [...]

Elections over, Sri Lankans should be optimistic now

Elections over, Sri Lankans should be optimistic now

When I say that “Sri Lanka is at the doorstep of take-off to economic prosperity”, many would raise eyebrows. Global economy is in a disarray, and the Sri Lankan economy is in a chaos; how can we say that we are now at the doorstep of take-off? That is exactly, my point: we never had [...]

Discriminating against women keeps countries poorer

In 100 countries around the world, women are barred from doing certain work solely because they are women. Over 150 countries have at least one law that is discriminatory towards women. And only 18 countries are free of any law disadvantaging women. This is just the tip of the iceberg of legal barriers for women [...]

Sri Lanka heading for disaster if proper education system is not implemented

While the competition to enter local universities in Sri Lanka is becoming tough every year, the question of why graduates who pass out from national universities hardly find employment in the corporate world is a critical debate in today’s context. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) General Secretary and CEO Mangala P.B. Yapa made this comment [...]

Not a single power plant under construction: Power shortages on the way

Like many other facts in life and politics, the electricity industry too has turned a full circle. After 20 years of indecision, two major power plants were completed: Norochcholai coal-fired power plant was completed in 2014 and the Upper Kotmale power plant in 2013. The much awaited Sampur power plant, originally scheduled to produce electricity [...]

More details of massive CHOGM expenditure emerging

More details of massive CHOGM expenditure emerging

After almost two years, details of heavy spending of public money for the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government’s Meeting (CHOGM) by Rajapaksa regime have come to light raising the issue once again. According to interim estimates, a colossal sum of Rs.15.5 billion was spent for CHOGM with several bills of ministries, contractors, hotels and suppliers [...]

USAID’s VEGA/BIZ+ offering SME support to run till end 2017

Are you an owner of either a small or a medium scale enterprise with a plan for market orientation and to expand your enterprise? Whether expanding your business concern would provide opportunities for the community around you to increase their livelihood? Are you expecting any financial or technical assistance to realise the above vision and [...]

Laugfs to get 2nd ship by month end

Laugfs Gas PLC (LGL), an energy group, through its new subsidiary Laugfs Maritime Services Pvt Ltd (LMS) is wrapping up the final loose ends to purchase its second vessel to transport downstream Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), officials said. This has come on the back of a similar purchase last year, which came at a cost [...]

SriLankan Airlines appoints new CEO

SriLankan Airlines has announced the appointment of Capt. Suren Ratwatte as the airline’s new Chief Executive Officer, with effect from October 2015. He takes over from Rakitha Jayawardena, Director who served as pro-tem CEO since March until an appointment was made. The earlier CEO was Kapila Chandrasena who stepped down in March after an official board [...]

Mattala airport up and running soon?

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga says that the authorities need to commission the Mattala airport to accommodate charters bringing in tourists. In addition, he pointed out in an interview with the Business Times that Mattala will only be used as temporary space for paddy stocks and that “sooner or later Mattala will be up and running.” He [...]

Verite Research detects ‘potential slush fund’ in SL Treasury

In a startling revelation on Sri Lanka’s budgetary process, Verite Research, an independent think-tank based in Colombo, has detected a special allocation in the budget maintained under the National Budget of the Treasury that can be transferred to any other ministry. Executive Director of Verite Research (VR7), Nishan de Mel told a media conference convened [...]

CA to make representations to SEC on ‘whistle blowing’

The Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka (CA) is to make representations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on ‘whistle blowing’, officials say.  ”We are in the process of making representations to the SEC to find the right balance in terms of whistle blowing,” a CA official told the Business Times. He added that [...]

IFC reaching out to more small businesses and cooperatives in Sri Lanka

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is to provide advisory services to SANASA Development Bank as it expands to include more micro and small businesses, cooperatives, and retail clients.  In a media release on Monday, the IFC said it was now hoping to reach more rural small businesses across the country, boosting financial [...]

Sri Lanka earns more from fruit and vegetable exports during 2014

Earnings from the export of Sri Lankan fruits and vegetables during 2014 has increased, compared to the previous year’s income, a study conducted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce shows. According to the study titled ‘Fruit and Vegetable Sector Statistical Analysis 2014’, earnings from fruit exports surged by 51 per cent, while earnings from vegetable [...]

Lanka BPO Academy’s School of Business and Technology and La Trobe University to launch new MSc of Business Analytics

The Lanka BPO Academy’s School of Business and Technology (LSBT), and the La Trobe Business School, Australia, recently conducted a symposium to engage with the Sri Lankan business community and academics. The symposium was part of the on-going preparation for the launch of La Trobe University’s new Master of Business Analytics, which will begin its [...]

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