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Asia’s largest virtual 3-day ‘Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021’ concludes

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Asia’s first and largest 3-day virtual investment conference, Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021 (SLIF 2021), concluded successfully on June 9th. The Forum was a joint initiative of the Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the Colombo Stock Exchange, in collaboration with Microsoft as the Technology Partner. It facilitated 4,870 online registrations from 85 countries simultaneously and seamlessly.

The Forum was supported by Microsoft through its local Gold Partner Impact IT Solutions who developed the website and event platform: www.invest-srilanka.lk. The platform showcased features such as online registration of participants, connecting with live events, scheduling of B2B meetings between investors and exhibitors, registration for sessions, event management, technical support and discussion facilitation throughout the 118 sessions featuring 108 international and local resource personnel. It was conceptualised and developed by Impact IT using Microsoft technologies integrated with Microsoft Teams.

“As a Microsoft Gold Partner, IMPACT IT is proud to have designed and developed the website and event platform by utilizing Microsoft Technologies to host the largest virtual investment forum in Asia,” said Shameera Prajapriya, CEO of Impact IT.

“IMPACT IT is a Microsoft Gold Partner recognized for their commitment to solidifying customer relationships by offering innovative and effective business solutions to their customers. By succesfully implementing Microsoft Teams’ social and collaborative features into their website and event platform, the company was able to stream rich content of significant value to current and potential investors on behalf of Sri Lanka,” said Hasitha Abeywardena, Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Microsoft.

Addressing the gathering as the Keynote Speaker, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed his vision for growth in Sri Lanka to reach a per capita income of USD 8,000 within the current decade. He also encouraged local and foreign investors to seize the country’s opportunities and leverage its strategic location, being situated in the Indian Ocean, crossing the main shipping and airline routes, and being the gateway to South Asia. The Forum closed positively with investors expressing keen interest in Sri Lanka’s investment and growth potential across multiple sectors in the future.



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BOC launches ‘Export Circle’ to drive SMEs to the level of institutional exporters

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BOC Director G. Harsha Wijayawardhana launches the Trade Finance Division of BOC with the aim of facilitating exporters.Pic by Saman Ranaweera

By Sanath Nanayakkare

 

BOC’s newest initiative’ Export Circle’ is designed to facilitate Sri Lanka’s SME exporters to climb the ladder and become diversified institutional level exporters, without being stuck in a rut forever, D.P.K Gunasekera, General Manager of Bank of Ceylon said yesterday.

“Earning substantial foreign exchange will have a direct influence on our economic development, so one of the most vital inflows we want is more foreign exchange earned from our exports, and we need to boost this income beyond the conventional export basket. In the past it was said that no nation would develop without innovations. But in today’s world the fact of the matter is; if a nation doesn’t innovate and export innovative goods to meet the demands of the consumers, that nation will never develop itself,” he said.

“We once visited a customer of the Bank of Ceylon who imports base oil and processes it into a line-up of lube base oil products for export. He told us that he had been inspired by how lube base oil refinery in South Korea set a milestone in South Korean base oil market. He told us although South Korea entirely depended on imported raw material to make this product range, it has today emerged as a leading supplier of lube base oil, acquiring a 30% of the world’s market share. This shows what is important is not just what kind of natural resources a country has, but how much talent, innovative thinking and commitment a nation has, in order to broad base their export product portfolio. The Bank of Ceylon’s newest initiative will help fill this gap and support entrepreneurs of that ilk,” he said.

BOC General Manager made these remarks at a forum held yesterday in line with the Bank’s 82nd Anniversary celebrations which also saw the ceremonious launch of the BOC “Export Circle”, by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa via virtual screen from Temple Trees.

The move was initiated by the Trade Finance Division of BOC with the aim of accommodating exporters from all-walks-of-life. This fully-fledged one stop export unit located at the Bank’s Head Office ‘Trade Services’ department, is built with a state-of-the-art ambiance to add a relaxed and pleasant customer experience.

Further speaking Gunasekara said,”The programme has the intention of accommodating the financial and non-financial needs of these exporters and their supply chain management. This novel ‘circle’ concept will provide a tailor-made service with a credit package and a new deposit scheme. Among many useful facilities the exporters will experience are the trade information-desk which will provide up to date, end-to-end supply chain information, high standard advisory/consultancy services which is expected to iron out issues that could emerge when carrying out export transactions and assistance of business registration related services from documentation to other procedures which are crucial for the exporter.”

“Launching this programme is not enough. Now we have to go out and facilitate entrepreneurs who possess this kind of talent and facilitate them with financial and non-financial support. We should educate them on how to optimise their export earnings, how their businesses could be financially savvy in the overseas market and even provide them with currency hedging strategies they would need to know as exporters. Especially we are going to assist SMEs with an export potential or already exporting to come up to institutional level. It is the duty of BOC to facilitate exporters to bring in more foreign exchange and contribute to the development of the country,” he said.

 

 

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SLT-MOBITEL empowers Katuwana with new 4G tower

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider, commissioned a new 4G tower in Bookendayaya, Katuwana in the Hambantota district on 30th July 2021. The tower comes as part of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka’s (TRCSL) ‘Gamata Sanniwedanaya’ project, aimed at ensuring rural communities are equipped with the necessary connectivity infrastructure.

Inaugurating the new tower were Oshada Senanayake, Director General – TRCSL and Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL along with TRCSL and SLT-MOBITEL officials.

SLT-MOBITEL aims to continue to partner the TRCSL’s vision of achieving 100% coverage for the population by end-2022. Other locations are also expected be commissioned as a part of the ‘Gamata Sanniwedanaya’ programme to expand the coverage in more districts and SLT-MOBITEL will facilitate the necessary infrastructure together with TRCSL.

SLT-MOBITEL’s ultimate objective is to enable a digital future which is accessible to all Sri Lankans. Joining TRCSL in this scheme, SLT-MOBITEL is able to strengthen the nation’s ICT infrastructure, empower citizens and transform society towards prosperity through digital transformation.

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CSE indices rise as turnover hits Rs. 4 billion

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE activities were negative at the beginning of yesterday due to notable profit-taking of several companies but later on it recovered .The stock market reverted to a positive mode as both indices moved upwards, with a healthy turnover being registered.

Fresh buying interest was noted in investor favorite counters yesterday, stock market analysts said. Moreover, hope of positive corporate quarterly earnings heightened during the sessions, brokers said.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 27.5 points and S and P SL20 rose by 34 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 4.1 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in TJLanka, which crossed 3.5 million shares to the tune of Rs. 147 million, its shares traded at Rs. 42 and Commercial Bank 520,000 shares crossed for Rs. 44.2 million, its shares trading at Rs. 85.

In the retail market five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 1.35 billion (19.1 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs.455 million (69.3 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 303 million (7.6 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs. 221 million (468,000 shares traded) and Lanka Tiles Rs. 173 million (2.9 million shares traded).

Top gainers for the All Share Price Index were Expolanka, which contributed 28.23 points, Browns Investments Rs. 12.9 points and LOLC nine points, while top negative contributors were JKH, which contributed seven negative points, Carsons Cumberbatch four negative points and Sri Lanka Telecom two negative points. During the day 311.2 million share volumes changed hands in 29700 transactions.

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