From Left: Jules Kay, Managing Director, PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards & Events; Dr. Nirmal De Silva Director and CEO, Paramount Realty, and Chairperson of the Judges; Roshan Madawela, Founding Director and CEO, RIU Real-Estate Intelligence Unit, and Member of the Judging Panel; Dinuk Hettiarachchi, Managing Partner, NH & Co. CEO and Director, RNH Group of Companies – HLB Sri Lanka; and Mega Kularathne, Director Finance & Planning, Maga Engineering recently discussed the significance of the awards programme’s return as Sri Lanka sets eyes on the road to recovery.
As the nation sets eyes on the road to recovery
The highly awaited PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) programme has officially returned with the fourth annual edition of the island nation’s most prestigious real estate awards.
Dr. Nirmal De Silva, director and CEO of Paramount Realty and the chairperson of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) joined Jules Kay, managing director of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events, to discuss the significance of the awards programme’s return to Sri Lanka.
The online event was joined by member of the independent judging panel, Roshan Madawela, founding director and CEO of Research Intelligence Unit (RIU).
HLB Sri Lanka, represented by Nihal Hettiarachchi & Company, this year joins the 4th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) as Official Supervisor.
Property developers and designers who want to join the elite ranks of awardees may cast their official entries before 24 September at AsiaPropertyAwards.com/nominations.
Nominations from the public are encouraged.
The region’s finest real estate Shortlisted nominees will compete in a diverse roster of categories this year, including the never-before-presented honours of Best Sustainable Developer, Best Breakthrough Developer, Best Lifestyle Developer, Best Commercial Developer, Best Hospitality Developer, Best Industrial Developer, and Best Mixed-Use Developer. In addition, the Awards have also opened categories for Best Residential Development (Maldives) and Best Residential Development (Malé), the latter celebrating the finest in the small archipelago’s capital.
Winners and highly commended developers and projects will be honoured together with other country awardees at the virtual gala event and ceremony on 9 December. The event will premiere on the same day on AsiaPropertyAwards.com/tv-podcast and the official channels on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
For the first time ever, highlights of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards will air on the History Channel, the official cable TV partner, putting the island’s finest in front of a truly global audience, including consumers and property agents.
Key dates for the 2021 edition:
1 January 2021 – Entries Open
24 September 2021 – Entries Close
27 September-8 October – Site inspections
11 October 2021 – Final Judging
9 December 2021– Virtual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony (Sri Lanka edition)
9 December 2021 – Regional Grand Final Gala Event
Govt urged to unlock true potential of Sri Lanka’s Blue Economy
=Take initiatives to reap maximum benefit from our seafood resource
=Fisheries sector can quickly generate employment and export earnings
=Modernizing fisheries sector is a collective responsibility of the government
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Championing the Blue Economy is a relatively easy way out for Sri Lanka to generate employment and export earnings as Sri Lanka can hardly become an industrialized nation, Shiran Fernando, President- Canned Fish Manufacturers Association of Sri Lanka. (CFMASL) told the media last week.
“Concerted efforts need to be made to reap long-term benefits of the sustainable use of marine resources to promote economic growth and come out of the current economic crisis. Facilitating extensive fish farming, proper handling/storage, keeping the catch quite fresh for processing would be key in achieving this goal. The whole government should spearhead this endeavor without leaving the task to the Ministry of Fisheries alone. The fisheries ministry is hard put to find funds despite its willingness to help the private sector to take the industry to the next level. There is a role for the government to play in this exercise which the private investors can’t,” he said.
The outspoken entrepreneur said that the fisheries sector is not getting the attention it deserves from the government although the Minister of Fisheries and the Ministry Secretary are passionate about the industry and are supportive of the private sector investors.
“What we say is; it’s the duty of the government to modernize the practices of this industry by helping the fisher folk to completely transform their way of catching fish by enforcing regulations for responsible fishing, guiding them on protecting the marine ecosystem and providing them with modern fishing vessels with refrigeration technology. They still go out to see on old boats and can’t carry enough ice for fish preservation, therefore, a lot of fish is found to be less than perfect and is diverted for making dried fish. The government should invest in and encourage key innovations in fisheries such as modern boats, nets and cooling systems through appropriate financial arrangements or cluster schemes to fully utilize the catch. You may not be able to get everyone on board such projects, so get as many fisher folk as possible to join such schemes and get them to engage in the industry in a sustainable way with a long-term view. As canned fish manufacturers, we have fulfilled the pledge we made a few years ago that we would manufacture enough canned fish to meet the nation’s requirement. Currently 250,000 canned fish are consumed per day in the country. Now 5 factories of our Association produce 300,000 units of canned fish per day exceeding the daily requirement. Although the consumption had dropped in September-October last year, now it has stabilized with prices coming down. We thank the ministry for increasing the Special Commodity levy (SCL) by Rs. 100 on imported canned fish. We don’t ask the government to stop canned fish imports. Let the Sri Lankan consumers eat imported canned fish if they want to pay more. However, when you import the product that can lead to unemployment and underutilization of our seafood resource,” he said.
Fernando insisted on monitoring and regulating of canned fish companies that don’t carry SLS standards to create awareness in consumers and encourage them to buy local canned fish made in compliance with standards.
He said that his company’s (TESS Group of Companies) operations at currently inoperative Oluvil Harbour would begin soon.
“Our operation there will commence with over Rs 20 million spent on refurbishing the cold storage and factory that TESS Group built there long ago. Since this harbor has not been used for 12 years now, the harbor mouth needs re-dredging. If the government intervenes and does the needful, the area will be more viable for commercial fisheries and will create sustainable livelihoods opportunities for people in the area.”
He noted that if the government supports their Association for value added re-exports of canned fish, they can import raw fish and repack it as fillet fish Flounder (used in fish and chip recipes), Salmon fillet, Anchovy fillets etc., and thus supply to the high-end segment of the global market and increase the country’s export earnings.
“Sri Lanka is doing certain things right in the fisheries sector. We are on the right path, but we urge the authorities to pay more attention and adopt strategies to maximize the use of its vast oceanic resources,” he said.
ComBank upgrades Q+ Payment App to introduce ‘Send Money’ fund transfers facility
The Q+ Payment App, another state-of-the-art product of Commercial Bank of Ceylon, which uses a cutting-edge technology, has scaled new heights in technology-enabled convenience with the addition of several new features that enable different methods of fund transfers and flexible payment scheduling options similar to standing orders.
Customers who have linked their Commercial Bank cards to the Q+ Payment App can now send money to another locally-issued Visa and Mastercard Debit, Credit or Prepaid card, to a Commercial Bank or other local bank account or to any Payment Exchange Name (PEN) through any LankaPay-registered mobile number, directly from their registered cards in the App.
Notably, the Card-to-Card funds transfer feature is the first of its kind to be implemented via a payment application in Sri Lanka and is operated via the ‘Visa Direct’ and ‘Mastercard Send’ card-based fund transfer facilities. This user-friendly, two-step fund transfer method can be executed simply by keying in the card number of the recipient and the desired amount, the Bank said. Similarly, the Card-to-Account feature is equally convenient as the sender is require to select the recipient’s bank and then type the account number and amount to conclude the fund transfer. Q+ Payment App has also enabled a favourites tab to store recipient card and account particulars to perform future transactions even more conveniently.
Quickee shines as Online Brand of the Year at SLIM Brand Excellence 2022
Quickee, Sri Lanka’s favourite digital marketplace, was awarded Gold in the Online Brand of the Year category at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2022 held recently. This win is attributable to the way the brand transformed itself through Covid-19 amidst many challenges faced to offer an unmatched online shopping experience alongside its own delivery fulfillment service.
Quickee integrates a range of unparalleled products and services that are usually not offered by any other digital commerce platform in Sri Lanka. It has been able to maintain a strong execution capability of its brand promise, with top delivery speeds even during late evenings and after-hours serving any household across the country. Quickee promises a wide array of products and services with the fastest speed for a Sri Lankan online marketplace that delivers until 3 a.m.
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