BOC’s Deputy General Manager (International, Treasury & Investment), R. M. N. Jeewantha, recently discussed BOC’s lead role in foreign remittances in Sri Lanka amid the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the bank’s role in offering uninterrupted banking services at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The following are some excerpts from his presentation.
“The importance of foreign worker remittances to the national economy cannot be overstated. Remittance-generated income has become even more crucial currently, owing to the ongoing health crisis.”
With over 2 million Sri Lankans residing and working in foreign countries, they amount to approximately 10% of the country’s population and 25% of the local workforce. In the year 2019, a total of USD 6.7 Billion was generated in foreign currency remittances, corresponding to 8.03% of our total GDP. This is indicative of the significance of the contributions by migrant workers, particularly in Middle Eastern, East Asian and Western countries, to our national economy.”
“Of the above stated total in 2019, a notable 40% market share of foreign currency remittances was garnered by Bank of Ceylon, which the bank has consistently maintained over numerous years. An institution that has formed a reputation as Bankers to the Nation, BOC has helped Sri Lankans send money home reliably, safely, and promptly for many decades. The impact that the ability to securely transfer money has on our citizen’s social well-being, is incalculable.”
“Despite remittances being hard hit in the months of April and May by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, and extended periods of lockdown as a result, foreign remittances in Sri Lanka reached a high of USD 703 Million in September 2020. BOC has maintained market leadership position in foreign remittances in 2020 as well, while managing to retain 40% market share once more.”
“Additionally, for conversion of remittances to rupees plus for foreign currency deposits, BOC provides the most attractive exchange rates market-wide. These benefits feature heavily when Sri Lankans working abroad opt for BOC to facilitate their money transfers.”
“BOC also maintains over 100 direct relationships with exchange houses worldwide. These partnerships are facilitated by BOC business promotion officers across the world in countries such as Qatar, South Korea, Oman, UAE, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Kuwait, and Israel. It is important to note that even amidst the current global pandemic, these BOC business promotion officers have not requested to come back home, and they continue to serve Sri Lankans in those countries and the country as a whole.”
“The bank’s resolve to continue serving the nation even in times of adversity, ensured state corporations, private entities and the country as a whole could operate and continue as before. This fully captures the spirit of Bank of Ceylon, and its determination to lead the country forward.”
Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan owned company to receive FAMI-QS certification
Farmchemie has obtained FAMI-QS certification being the first Sri Lankan owned company certified with FAMI-QS. FAMI-QS stands for Feed Additive and pre-MIxture Quality System, which compromises the safety of animal feed and the quality of processed goods in accordance with European regulation no. 183/2005 on animal feed. Farmchemie is a BOI approved leading manufacturer and exporter of animal feed additives and nutritional supplements in Asia. Farmchemie is equipped with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility from Bühler, Switzerland to offer quality assured manufacturing services for world-renowned European brands as well as own brands under Farmstar. Farmchemie has already established their presence in numerous international markets such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia and Uganda. FAMI-QS will enable them to expand their markets including the European and USA.
“We are honoured to announce that Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan-owned company to be certified with FAMI-QS in combination with ISO 9001: 2015 and Good Manufacturing Practices certification for animal feeding. By attaining FAMI-QS, we are able to anticipate the expectations of our clients for safe, high-quality goods by lowering the related risk and enhancing the quality of onsite feeds via a supply chain that is properly guaranteed. For that Farmchemie implements measures for Feed Fraud and Feed Defense according to FAMI-QS supply chain integrity module V2. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our customers and suppliers for their continued support and dedication. We look forward to elevating the firm to new heights in the coming months and years, as our aims will always be centered on quality assurance and innovative manufacturing.” Managing Director Uditha Wanigasinghe stated.
Exports Gold Award for Textrip
Textrip Pvt Ltd, the export arm of the Elasto Group, was recently recognized, as the gold award winner for rubber and rubber-based products, medium scale category at the NCE Export Awards ceremony held recently in Colombo. The Chairman and Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera accepted the award at the gala event held at Shangri La Hotel. The national export awards ceremony, organized by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), recognizes and rewards Sri Lankan exporters on their performance in the international market.
“We always strive to manufacture high-quality rubber-based goods, using the latest technology, adhering to the highest international standards, and showcasing Sri Lanka on the global stage. I would like to thank our clients, locally and internationally for their continuous trust and my staff for their hard work and dedication. They are the pillars of our success,” Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera stated. Textrip products have obtained a number of national and international quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, CET, REACH and their products are designed to adhere to the ‘Wellness Wisdom’ theme. The company works with over 100 top sports and wellness brands and exports to more than 30 countries including European countries and the United States. TEXSTRETCH Progressive Exercise Resistance Bands is one of the most popular products of the company. The product is a great full-body workout solution for users of any level.
Sri Lanka Tourism returns to Spanish market after pandemic
Spain is one of the fastest recovery markets for Sri Lanka Tourism after the pandemic and participation in FITUR argues well for the much-needed exposure for Sri Lanka as an attractive tourism destination for Spanish-speaking countries, contributing in a substantive manner to its overall growth strategy. Sri Lanka Tourism made the presence with the 28 private sector companies at 43rd edition of FITUR International Travel Mart which was held from 18- 22 January 2023, Madrid, Spain. FITUR is the largest tourism event in the Spanish Market where all the sectors leisure, business and MICE tourism meet under one roof.
Sri Lanka Tourism stall was ceremonially opened by Mr.Chalaka Gajabahu ,Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Barcelona, Mr. Agustin Llana and representatives of the leading private sector members of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka was able to attract high level of attention from the trade and travel visitors attended at the event. The Sri Lanka pavilion highlighted many aspects of its potential culture, beauty, Ayurveda and many more which Sri Lanka would offer as a tourism destination. Sri Lanka stand optimized the “So Sri Lanka” and “Visit Sri Lanka” vivid sights to attract the potential visitor segments. At the Sri Lanka pavilion, Ceylon tea was served for the visitors with a view of promoting Ceylon tea in the Spanish market.
On the sideline of the FITUR travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Burau officials participated at the events organized by the UNWTO. During the events, SLTPB officials met with the Mr.Harry Hwang , Director of Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO.As a result of discussions, Mr.Harry Hwang has shown the interest to hold the UNWTO Joint commission in Sri Lanka in 2024.
Meantime, the SLTPB and Sri Lanka Embassy of France also took steps to arrange Business Meetings, exclusive media interviews, Air Line meetings at the FITUR 2023. The Media gathering conducted during the fair created the great opportunity to highlight the updates on the destination and create awareness on the destination.
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