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50th Annual General Meeting of Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council

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Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council held its 50th Annual General Meeting on July 16, 2020. Considering the prevailing situation in the country, this year’s AGM was held as a Virtual Meeting connected through Microsoft Teams.

Suren Abeysekera was re-elected Chairman while Russell Juriansz and Imalka Kumarapeli were re-elected the first and second Vice Chairmen respectively for the year 2020/2021.

Committee members representing 14 trade associations connected to international trade, 50+ individual members and past Chairmen of the council were scheduled to participate in this year’s AGM making it an important event attracting the elite of Sri Lanka’s import and export sector involved in logistics and shipping.

The Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council has a 50+ year history as the apex body representing the interests of shippers in the Island.

It was the first National Shippers’ Council to be set up in Asia in March1966 now having 14 product member associations and over 50 individual members representing almost all industries engaged in international trade making it one of the most vibrant councils in the Country.

The Council’s engagement and contribution towards drafting some of the policies of national importance and its involvement in the reform process of border agency activities during the past years are noteworthy.

To name a few are amendments to the Sri Lanka Customs Ordinance, Implementations of Sri Lanka Customs automated processes, Establishing the Sri Lanka Customs’ Export Facilitation Centre, Drafting the blue print for the National Single Window, Trade Liberalization measures and areas of Trade Facilitation, Preparation and implementation of National Export Strategy, Free Trade Agreements, National Trade Policy, Trade Information Portal, on-line payments cum e-signatures, drafting the National Policy for Maritime and Logistics and implementation of IMO 2020 low Sulphur fuel cap.

The Council also actively supports the Sri Lankan Government’s vision of making Sri Lanka the Logistics Hub in the Asian region, which would result in the generation of enhanced economic activity, employment and wealth. As such, all Council activities have been planned and prepared to support this vision and facilitate international trade.

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‘A supermarket in your pocket’

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For large corporates, understanding the pulse of one’s stakeholders assures longevity and relevance. From serving a few to serving many, Cargills has undergone numerous changes as a corporate entity throughout its rich history of over 175 years. Reflecting on its journey thus far, Cargills transformed from a primarily wholesale and retail business to a pivotal player across multiple sectors within the food and beverage industry in Sri Lanka.

From introducing the first bona fide supermarket, Cargills Food City which revolutionised modern retailing in the country, to acquiring long-standing food brands and elevating them to new heights, Cargills has never shied away from diving into new ventures.

At its core is a deep intrinsic understanding of its stakeholders, from farmers to customers across all 25 districts. While the looming pandemic in March 2020 sought to disrupt the normal, this same understanding, a pulse if you will, directed a new norm.

Like many other businesses, Cargills was compelled to adapt. While it has a wide network of supermarkets across the island which were in fact operational during this time, there were no customers to be served due to the imposed lockdown. Almost overnight, the Cargills Rewards website was transformed to a new system for customers to order their groceries. It was a simple solution, that leveraged its supply chain to help facilitate hyperlocal delivery for customer’s within a 5km radius of its outlets.

Furthermore, container trucks carrying well displayed groceries were dispatched to neighborhoods, pioneering Asia’s first mobile supermarket, ‘Cargills 2 Home’. This ingenuity was driven by the top brass, who too feel the pulse of their stakeholders and so brought the supermarket experience to the customer’s home.

(Cargills)

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Raddella Holdings launches first biotech insulin manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka

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Raddella Holdings introduce yet another revolutionary first with the launch of Sri Lanka’s first and only biotech insulin manufacturing plant. The recently concluded groundbreaking ceremony was held on September18, at the Koggala Export Processing Zone. The landmark event was attended by a host of dignitaries and guests including the State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply, and Regulation – (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana, Minister of Tourism – Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Plantation – (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, State Minister of Rural and School Sports Infrastructure Development – Thenuka Vidanagamage and many more.

The operation of the new plant will involve a joint venture between the Premium International Injectable Company (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Raddella Holdings and the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC). All new products manufactured as a result of this venture will be done under the SPMC brand name, with full government supervision.

The biotechnology manufacturing plant is a Rs. 3.5 billion, 100% local investment, which will employ over 200 specialized and highly trained professionals. All technology used in manufacturing will be state-of-the-art and conform to the highest tier of European standardization. This new plant has the capacity to meet 100% of projected local demand for next 15 years. The surplus produced thereafter will be exported and provide a valuable source of foreign revenue.

The new plant will utilize world famous SCADA systems to monitor and control the plant, all equipment, and the entire manufacturing process. This will guarantee the highest level of quality control, where all records of manufacture are completely automated and thus tamper-proof. Other quality control methods include adhering to the European Union Goods Manufacturing Practice (EUGMP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), while also complying with the strict standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The extensive planning for the plant happened over the last two years, in this time all designs, technology transfers, and specialist training have been completed, with all approvals and certification having been obtained. With construction completed soon, the plant will commence operations shortly.

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AIA Insurance Platinum Sponsor of Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies

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AIA Sri Lanka is proud to partner as Platinum Sponsor, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in presenting ‘Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies Awards 2020’.

This is the third year of the prestigious Awards ceremony for which AIA has been the Platinum Sponsor. The awards are intended at recognizing companies that are a cut above the rest in terms of not just their financial performance but also on the value they create in a sustainable and ethical way for their employees, customers, investors and the general community.

Companies that have been in business for over 5 years as at June 30 2020 and are 30% or more of Sri Lankan ownership are eligible to enter this Awards competition which is open to both listed and unlisted companies in Sri Lanka. (AIA)

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