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Sri Lanka’s new tea-biscuit

Sri Lanka’s new tea-biscuit

It’s a great mix of a favourite Sri Lankan biscuit and a more famous product: Ceylon Tea. The Maliban biscuit seen in the picture by photographer Indika Handuwala has been specially crafted to mark the 150th anniversary of Ceylon Tea. It is flavoured with tea and ginger.

Economic Service Charge requires amending laws

Sri Lankan tax authorities along with the Finance Ministry have been caught napping once again; imposing the Economic Service Charge (ESC) without the mandatory, amending legislation in place. In a newspaper advertisement on January 16, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) directed that final date of payment for the ESC for the quarter ending December 31, [...]

Parliamentary Budget Office soon

Sri Lanka’s Parliament will soon set up a Parliamentary Budget Office for the first time since the country’s independence to provide independent analysis on the state of the nation’s finances. Necessary legislation is now being finalised for the setting up of an Independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and it will be presented in Parliament shortly [...]

New CSE board to attract Maldivian firms

Finally, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is to launch its first proposed Multi Currency Board and that, within three months. The introduction of dual currency trading and settlement of foreign currency denominated securities will allow foreign firms to trade on the CSE. But as was proposed earlier, this board will not be solely a dollar [...]

First full, flight to Mattala

Mattala airport may not be lonely, after all. On Friday, budget carrier FlyDubai, the only foreign airline to use this southern airport, flew in a full complement of passengers – 108 – for a special occasion. The group from Dubai was attending a wedding reception at the Shangri-La Hambantota Resort and Spa. According to FlyDubai [...]

PATA summit in Negombo

With a flurry of new hotel openings in Colombo amidst stresses at the partially-closed Bandaranaike International Airport till April 6, a major tourism conference is also taking place in May. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) annual summit is being held on May 18-21 in Negombo, bringing together international thought leaders, industry shapers, and senior [...]

Deluges to droughts

Deluges to droughts

Sri Lanka’s focus last week on an impending drought has drawn a lot of praise in that the authorities – any government for that matter – have got its act together and are preparing ahead for the expected calamity. While we too add a wee bit of praise to these developments, one must not be [...]

Bandaranaike Airport Expansion Project: Enhancing Sri Lanka’s international gateway

Bandaranaike Airport Expansion Project: Enhancing Sri Lanka’s international gateway

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is Sri Lanka’s biggest airport and main gateway to the world. BIA acts as a regional and national economic motor, creating the necessary infrastructure for a wide range of economic activities, as access to markets and international transport links are vital for economic development. On the other hand Sri Lanka [...]

Hambantota Energy Project launched in 2012 remains a non-starter

The Hambantota Energy Project (HEP) launched in 2012 remains a non-starter up to now due to the delay in taking firm policy decisions by government officials, an international energy developer alleged. If government officials had made firm decisions, HEP would have been completed with the implementation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants, Greenlink Global Consulting [...]

Microsoft’s ‘Mystery Shopper’ set to weed out fakes, counterfeits

‘(Beware) You may be part of a software counterfeiting without knowing it’ states a new ad campaign by Microsoft Sri Lanka to create awareness on fakes and counterfeits. The ad, which has run in several newspaper over the past three weeks in all three languages, also alerts retailers of computers, laptops or hand held devices [...]

Pakistan offers huge market for Sri Lankan products

While China has invested US$50 billion in Pakistan, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a strategic vision, will be beneficial for the whole region. With a growth rate of 7 per cent expected for the next two years Pakistan would be an ideal market for Sri Lankan products and services. This was the assurance given [...]

“Sri Lanka’s labour conundrum: Import or perish?”

Is Sri Lanka facing a chronic labour crisis: Is there a shortage of workers or are there excess workers: Will Sri Lanka be able to fill new jobs in the apparel industry if and when GSP + is secured? These are among many questions confronting the country as the pace of development picks up amidst [...]

More demand for lower to mid range apartments – analysts

Anyone in Colombo is reminded daily of the giant scope of development in progress, as cranes line empty spaces throughout the city. The real estate economy is showing swift development with many luxurious residential and commercial developments on the agenda in Colombo and suburbs. Colombo’s skyline has seen major transformations in commercial and residential construction [...]

Challenges in the skilled worker shortage in construction sector

The most common lament in the construction sector always is the continued impact of the skilled worker shortage. Construction managers are constantly looking for skilled labour professionals but that for them is the most challenging, they say. These workers, namely masons, tillers, painters, carpenters, bar-benders, welders, plumbers, riggers, etc are hard to come by in [...]

Technology for “mason baas”

Technology for “mason baas”

Little is known about what technologies are used by or influences workers in the construction sector. It’s interesting to see informal sector workers in this industry use newfangled mobile technology to … well, make their lives easier. Take Chandimal from Embilipitiya who dropped out of school at 15 and started work at a construction site [...]

New trends in construction industry

Sri Lanka today is witnessing a massive boom in the real estate and construction industry. Lots of modern machinery required for construction have been imported during recent times and it has gradually led to the industry to look forward to a greater development around the country, a senior official in the local construction industry told [...]

Doctors, engineers amongst top investors in apartments

Demand for apartments in the country is coming mostly from local engineers and doctors, experts say. Havelock City Senior Manager for Marketing and Sales, Shanesh Ratnaweerage told the Business Times that it’s always the high networth individuals who purchase apartments. “Majority of the investors are doctors and engineers as far as the Havelock City complex [...]

Kenyan tea eyes huge Iran, Russian markets

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has found new markets for tea in Iran and Russia after the UN lifted a 10-year embargo, according to a January 18 report in Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper. According to KTDA national chairman Peter Kanyago, the agency will continue expanding the orthodox tea product in order to dislodge India [...]

Bharti Airtel commits to empower the youth of Sri Lanka

Bharti Airtel, the third largest telecommunications and network operator in the world with a footprint in over 18 countries, recently celebrated its 8th anniversary in Sri Lanka with a commitment to further empower the youth. Since its inception in January 2009, Bharti Airtel Lanka with an investment of approximately Rs. 64 billion has built a [...]

Authorities likely to reduce arrival time at BIA

Travellers faced some congestion at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) initially when partial operations began. However over time it has been relatively smooth with music in tow to liven up the mood and travel agents are hoping the number of hours needed to get there could be reduced from five to four. January is a [...]

More promos needed to reap benefits of tourism

More promos needed to reap benefits of tourism

Sri Lanka is an island destination blessed with such varied attractions from our heritage, scenic routes, wildlife, tea plantations, our cuisine, different cultures and religions and their beliefs and rituals, Ayurveda, etc, I am confident that we are unmatched. We speak and most understand English and we have guides who speak other international languages such [...]

Sri Lanka urgently needs to promote destination, says Nilmin

Sri Lanka urgently needs to  promote destination, says Nilmin

A Sri Lanka tourism industry stalwart has insisted that marketing the destination is vital at a time when Sri Lanka’s competitors were investing billions to generate increased tourist traffic. “This is the time the industry should make large investments on TV advertising, media campaigns and look at all possible and probable avenues to reach the [...]

SriLankan achieves 13% growth in cargo handling at BIA

SriLankan Cargo, the freight handling arm of SriLankan Airlines, set a new record for the amount of cargo handled at the Cargo Centre of Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with a total of 239,636 tonnes in 2016, a  growth of 12.88 per cent over the 212,277 of the previous year. SriLankan Cargo handles cargo of [...]

Foreign hotels seek to import labour to fill shortage gap

With many foreign hotels under construction in the country, hoteliers are urging the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to allow the import of trained and skilled staff, an official in the hospitality industry said. Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Managing Director for Sri Lanka, Manik Suriyaaratchi told the Business Times that a top foreign [...]

Tour the East on lgnatius’ 3-wheeler

Tour the East on lgnatius’ 3-wheeler

Govt. aims to reduce security check on exports at airport

Sri Lanka is looking at the possibility of cutting down on the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) security check carried out at the airport on perishable exports which adds to the delay and results in poor quality of local agricultural trade in the global market. Sri Lankan regulations have become counterproductive to exporters so much [...]

Blue Mountain’s ‘Achilleion’ apartment breaks ground

The much-awaited Blue Mountain 7-star luxury apartment complex in Colombo, ‘Achilleion’ broke ground on Thursday. With an investment of Rs. 30 billion the two 50 storeyed skyscrapers with 684 apartments will be completed by 2020. President Maithripala Sirisena, who was scheduled to attend the event as per the invitations sent out to invitees, didn’t attend. [...]

Presidential order defied by group in land-filling dispute in Ja-Ela

Residents are preparing for a massive protest on the lines of the recent one at Ja-Ela over the dumping of the Meethotamulla garbage in Ekala, Ja-Ela after a group defied a presidential order to stop filling some land. On January 3, under the orders of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) halted a [...]

Tea-biscuit combo as Ceylon Tea celebrates 150 years

Tea-biscuit combo as Ceylon Tea  celebrates 150 years

It’s a combo of biscuits and tea that would serve to commemorate 150 years since James Taylor pioneered the taste of Ceylon Tea, renowned the world over. Celebratory biscuits manufactured by Maliban to the taste of Earl Grey tea and ginger will keep alive the traditions of tea drinking. On Thursday, Maliban’s unique tea-flavoured biscuit [...]

Lankan professionals have lost their integrity, ethics and high standards, says CSE Chairman

While there are many ways for an educated individual to reach great heights in the professional career, Sri Lanka today is facing a major issue in terms of adhering to compliance and ethics, a top official at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said. CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka made this comment to the Business Times on [...]

Ex senior public official emphasises need to protect sovereign resources

A former senior public official with experience in serving three different governments at the President’s office has emphasised the need for the present government to strengthen the institutional mechanisms and listen to advice of knowledge bearers and the appointed experts, so that it can ascertain the truth behind important matters. Chris Dharmakirti, former chairman of [...]

Start-up fever to hit Colombo this September

Asia is the fastest-growing market in the world today and is well perched to become the most important world economy of the 21st century. So it’s no surprise that it is by now home to some of the globe’s most important start-up firms and Sri Lanka too can claim its start-up hub status before long. [...]

Goodness gracious me, oDoc to revolutionise doctor-patient relationship

Goodness gracious me, oDoc to  revolutionise doctor-patient relationship

Let’s call them the Fantastic Four. The accolade will be well deserved once their plans come to fruition around March when more than 20,000 employees at a number of leading private companies are able to with a few taps on their smartphones get in touch with a doctor and ask those worrying questions about their [...]

Trailblazer Lee Bazalgette has designs on Sri Lanka

Trailblazer Lee Bazalgette has designs on Sri Lanka

Lee Bazalgette has designs on turning Sri Lanka into a hub for innovation. A groundbreaker in the somewhat esoteric area – as far as this country is concerned – of product design, the Englishman is keen in creating a business culture where companies come up with their own goods rather than just copy-cat and follow [...]

Bidders for UL have no airline experience of international standards- Minister

Texas Pacific Group (TPG), a US based investment group is a frontrunner among three contenders to partner the state-run SriLankan Airlines, informed sources said. It has complied with ‘all’ the requirements that the special committee appointed by the Cabinet, along with National Savings Bank (NSB) team which is the lead manager to this process under [...]

28 % CIFC land reclamation completed, says Minister

Some 28 per cent of land reclamation from the sea in the Chinese funded, controversial Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) has now been completed following the expediting of the work under the present government, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka revealed. The land allotments of CIFC will be made available for building construction within the next two [...]

JKH filed its first patent related to novel energy storage material

JKH filed its first patent related to novel energy storage material

John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) has filed its first patent jointly with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – India, in the area of energy storage materials. This patent application was a result of a research project carried out in India at the National Metallurgical Lab (NML) based on an idea generated by [...]

De La Rue Lanka secures world class security accreditation

De La Rue Lanka, the world-famous currency printer with a plant in Sri Lanka, is celebrating its successful accreditation by external auditors to the Central Bank (CB) standard of ISO 14298. “This is a fantastic achievement for the site and follows the completion of a series of security upgrades at the plant to enable it [...]

Sri Lanka to get $125 mln credit to modernise agriculture

Sri Lanka has signed a US$125 million credit with the World Bank to help the country modernize its agriculture sector. Sri Lanka aims to make the sector more efficient and attractive as a modern business, more responsive to consumer demand, and more environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change, the bank said in a media [...]

SL Federation VP calls for more assistance for women entrepreneurs

One of the primary obligations of trade chambers is to assist prospective and current women entrepreneurs to help narrow the gender gap in entrepreneurship, said Vice President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka Ms. Shirley Jayawardane when she addressed the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic [...]

Top economists to discuss 2017 outlook at Ceylon Chamber seminar

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will line up four well-known economists along with an international relations specialist to discuss the economic outlook and its implication for business in 2017 at a seminar on January 26, with a special session on the implications of new US President Trump on the global economy and Sri Lanka. Dr. [...]

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