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World’s largest container ship

World’s largest container ship

MV EVER ACE, the world’s largest container ship with a capacity of 24,000 containers, made its inaugural call at the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) on Tuesday October 5. Pic by Indika Handuwala  

Special fertiliser for tea industry, says President

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told a special cabinet meeting on Thursday that special fertiliser can be brought down for use in the tea sector although this is not a reversal of the ban on chemical fertiliser application. During the special cabinet meeting, Plantation Minister Ramesh Pathirana had stated that the tea industry is in dire [...]

US dollars returning to market at snail’s pace

Artificially managing the currency will not mark the return of dollar export earnings, exporters say. “Generally, most exporters carry retained earnings to their respective countries for global market promotions. The major portion of this is used as an operational expense. These earnings depend on the appreciation of foreign currency to be competitive in the world [...]

SMEs seek court intervention on many issues

An organisation representing COVID-19-hit small and medium scale Enterprise (SME) sector has sought redress from courts to direct the Central Bank to properly provide the government’s relief package via banks and financial institutions. The National Trade Protection Council representing the SME sector has filed a writ petition at the Appeal Court against the Monetary Board [...]

Sri Lanka prepares for more tourist dollars

The tourism industry is set to bounce back as Sri Lankan hotels are moving out of their pandemic-related operations and resuming their hospitable welcome to the travellers which is set to roll in much needed foreign exchange to the cash-strapped nation. Sri Lanka relaxed travel restrictions on September 28, opening its doors to travellers fully [...]

Governing capital markets

Governing capital markets

Two days of rain had ended and this Thursday morning was bright and sunny. As I sipped my first mug of tea, absorbing the sunshine and pondering on the topic of the day, I was drawn by a commotion at the gate where the trio had gathered round ‘choon-paan karaya’ Aldoris’s tuk-tuk. Apparently, Aldoris had [...]

Vanish the capitalists!

Vanish the capitalists!

On October 7 (Thursday), there was an “unusual” birthday party that I had to attend. It had been organised by Prof. Hal Hill of the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia together with his colleagues. It was an “online” birthday party which was attended by people from all around the world to celebrate the [...]

FinMin gets additional responsibilities with revenue agency reforms

Sri Lanka’s revenue collection agencies and the institutional framework of the Finance Ministry are to be revitalised with additional responsibilities while strengthening electronic platforms with necessary data protection systems, Finance Ministry sources said. Among these special priorities are ensuring price stability by maintaining the annual average inflation rate at a low level, stabilising interest rates, [...]

SL projected to grow by 3.3% in 2021 amidst pandemic

Sri Lanka’s economy is projected to grow by 3.3 percent in 2021, but the medium-term outlook is clouded by pre-existing macroeconomic weaknesses and the economic scarring from the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank said this week. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank estimates growth to be higher than the bank forecast. The World Bank in its twice-yearly [...]

Gearing the workforce to bridge the IT skills gap

Gearing the workforce to bridge the IT skills gap

Sri Lanka needs to shift its public and private service towards the increased use of new technology in daily work backed by the proper training to create a skilled workforce. In this respect, Trainocate, a people-development company, is currently working with a number of private companies to train their staff and prepare them for their [...]

Wise decision to remove price control on rice

Wise decision to remove price control on rice

Various parties have tried to portray the government’s decision to abolish the control price for rice as a defeat, a betrayal of consumers, a surrender to the paddy mill owners, a foolish act, an understanding of the reality, or as a wise decision. Most of such ‘framing’ seem to have been done on preconceived notions, [...]

NDB Bank among “Top 10 Most Admired Companies” in Sri Lanka

National Development Bank PLC was recently named among the ‘10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka’ for the 2020/2021 financial year. Open to both listed and unlisted companies, the Most Admired Company Awards by ICCSL and CIMA recognises entities that stand out above the rest in terms of their financial performance and the value they [...]

Cargills among ‘Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka’

Cargills has been selected as one of the Top 10 Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka by CIMA and ICCSL for the second consecutive year. “This recognition is a testament to the resilience of the Cargills business model in the face of the pandemic, as we continued to grow by placing the needs of the [...]

Resplendent Ceylon recognised by Conde Nast Traveller Readers

The 2021 Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards were announced this week with Resplendent Ceylon receiving recognition for all three resorts; Cape Weligama, Ceylon Tea Trails and Wild Coast Tented Lodge. The Resplendent hotels were featured in the Top 25 Resorts in Asia list – Cape Weligama at #4, Ceylon Tea Trails at #8 and [...]

CA Sri Lanka conference: Human beings responsible for destroying the planet

CA Sri Lanka conference: Human beings responsible for destroying the planet

The world faces the unprecedented and multiple crisis of climate change due to nature’s degradation and pollution where the hottest decade is recorded in history. “We have seen this summer, raging forest fires and floods and sandstorms in many parts of the world including Turkey, Germany and the US where they had to close down [...]

ComBank – first bank to enable digital signatures in Sri Lanka

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it is now accepting digitally signed documents from business customers using LankaSign operated by LankaClear, the only commercially operating Certification Authority in the country which complies with the Electronic Transactions Act. The bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LankaClear as the first step towards embracing digital [...]

SL’s gem and jewellery industry preparing for post-pandemic revival

SL’s gem and jewellery industry preparing for post-pandemic revival

The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) recently held its annual general meeting virtually electing a new chairman, Ajward Deen and committee members and said it was preparing for a post-pandemic revival. In a statement, the new committee has outlined an extensive plan that intends to uplift the industry post-pandemic. “Like many other industries, [...]

New gas firm faces mounting internal pressure against its survival

The newly-formed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – Siyolit (Pvt.) Ltd is now facing pressure from workers of Litro (main stakeholder) against the involvement of Laugfs in operating a joint venture. This SPV has been launched to take over liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) related functions including importing, storing, distributing and marketing in a collaboration between Litro [...]

Fertiliser decisions on the coconut industry

Fertiliser decisions on the coconut industry

It is important to understand that we have to provide the plants what the plants need and not what we can give, what we have or what the legislation of a country allows. This is the bottom line which we have to understand and work towards a sustainable plant stability and optimum production both in [...]

State support essential for SMEs

State support essential  for SMEs

As a small business owner, I would like to bring this to the notice of all government officials in past and present government, and who have been ignoring our issues. On and off we see ministers or relevant officials discussing what actions should be taken, or what they will do. But nothing had been done [...]

SL needs immediate external financing, not too much borrowing, say experts

While Sri Lanka is grappling with the recovery from the economic crisis and seeking loans from various countries and (possibly from) the IMF, the country must focus on a consistent fiscal architecture including international capital market access to build up external financing such as FDI’s. The country does not need more and more short term [...]

Balanced plant nutrition critical for sustainable tea cultivation

Balanced plant nutrition critical for sustainable tea cultivation

Sri Lanka is a humid tropical country with two main monsoon seasons endowed with well distributed year-round rainfall. Tea is the only major perennial commercial economic crop grown widely in all three elevations and rainfall zones and in 14 Districts under varying temperature, rainfall, elevation, topography and terrain. It provides direct employment to over 600,000 [...]

IPS’ State of the Economy 2021 report next week

The Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) will host a public webinar series in conjunction with the release of IPS’ annual flagship report ‘Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2021’ on October 11, 13 and 14 from 3-4 pm. This year’s report focused on the theme ‘Pandemics and Policy: Protecting Health and Promoting [...]

Extensive range of Moringa products from SAJ Associates

Extensive range of Moringa  products from SAJ Associates

SAJ Associates Pvt Ltd has been working over the past two years amidst the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic to launch a unique one-of-a-kind collection of Moringa (drumstick) product range. Company Managing Director of Founder, Jayampathy Arambepola said that these premium quality products can challenge any international product or brand in this segment of the [...]

Sweden tops list of sustainable development ranking

Scandinavian countries have topped the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI) 2020 ranking with Sweden leading the way closely followed by Denmark, Iceland and Finland, while Norway is ranked 9. Sri Lanka has been ranked 59 ahead of India at 135 while Somalia is placed at the bottom of table of 180 countries, according to a [...]

EU visiting delegation assesses need to continue GSP +

The visiting European Union delegation monitoring the continuation of the GSP + concessions to Sri Lanka has queried from the apparel industry the reason to continue with this facility under the current circumstances where there are concerns about human rights. It is learnt that though the prevailing record of the country relating to human rights [...]

Regulating prices: From price mandates to more competition

Regulating prices: From price mandates to more competition

The government recently removed the maximum retail price (MRP) on rice with a decision to import a buffer stock of rice to prevent any shortages. This is an important step in the right direction. Opening up the market for more competition will reduce the market power of the alleged oligopoly of large scale rice mill [...]

Venture Engine returns for its 10th year

Sri Lanka’s pioneering start-up acceleration programme Venture Engine has launched its 2021 edition, with applications now open until midnight on October 22. Being held over October, November and December 2021, to provide much needed support to the local start-up sector during this pandemic, Venture Engine has returned for its 10th year with plans to help [...]

IMF chief Georgieva says she was misled by law firm on World Bank probe

IMF chief Georgieva says she was misled by law firm on World Bank probe

WASHINGTON REUTERS Oct 6 – The International Monetary Fund’s executive board was meeting again after interviewing Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva over claims that she pressured World Bank staff to alter data to favor China in her previous role, a source familiar with the deliberations said. A spokesperson for the IMF would only say that the [...]

iPay enables PickMe fares via LankaQR

With iPay, the revolutionary payment app introduced by Sri Lanka’s globally diversified financial conglomerate – LOLC, customers can now pay their PickMe fares via the LankaQR common QR code. Through this, customers can simply scan the QR code and authenticate their taxi payments, food orders and other PickMe services. iPay has partnered with the country’s [...]

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