Against the backdrop of higher education becoming more challenging for Sri Lankan communities as the nation faces an economic downturn, leading Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer Brandix Apparel Ltd. has stepped up to address this national need with the launch of a timely scholarship initiative.
Titled ‘Manusathkara University Scholarship’, Brandix has launched this programme with the intention of providing high performers of Advanced Level Examinations with the opportunity to pursue their higher education and strengthen their personal and professional development.
During the first phase of the programme’s implementation, scholarships will be extended to students from schools within ‘Model Villages’, who have been selected to State Universities as a result of excelling at their Advanced Level examinations. Model Villages is a concept developed by Brandix that aims to support the wellbeing of communities within a 10km radius of the company’s facilities.It is expected that the Scholarship Programme will immensely contribute toward bolstering the future workforce of Sri Lanka as they ready themselves to face future challenges and compete in the dynamic job market of tomorrow.
So far, 18 students have been awarded scholarships under this programme. These students have since completed Orientation and English pre-academic programmes. Their lectures have now commenced in virtual and physical modes at eight universities across the country including University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Colombo, University of Kelaniya, University of Moratuwa, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Eastern University of Sri Lanka, University of Peradeniya and the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.
The first recipient of the Brandix Manusathkara Scholarship was K. Akshika in 2021, who was presented with a scholarship to support her as she received her tertiary education at the University of Colombo, Faculty of Technology. Akshika was ranked 2nd in the island and 1st in the Batticaloa District in the Bio Systems Technology stream at the 2019 G.C.E Advanced Level (A/L) examinations.
“In living our purpose every day, Brandix is committed to providing inspired solutions to all our stakeholders. This has helped us build a framework that allows us to make an impact beyond the business, and across our communities and planet. With our social sustainability efforts anchored to the pillars of Provide, Educate and Engage, the ‘Manusathkara University Scholarship’ is the next milestone in supporting aspiring youth of Sri Lanka to ensure the continuity of their education despite challenges they may face,” said Malika Samaraweera, Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Brandix Apparel.
Malika further added, “A significant portion of students in Sri Lanka qualifying for State universities have always faced varying obstacles as they pursue their higher education, which in turn impacts their employability and career progression. Given the current economic conditions, we’ve identified that such obstacles are more frequent. We hope that the ‘Manusathkara University Scholarship’ will offer peace of mind to top performers, which comes from knowing they can continue their higher education unimpeded.”
As one of Sri Lanka’s most responsible corporate entities, facilitating continuous education and the pursuit of individual aspirations is an important element of Brandix’s CSR and HR strategies, which are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 04 of Quality Education.
BOI reports FDI inflows of US$ 713 million in first nine months of 2022
Signs 123 agreements to the value of US$ 1.9 billion in first 11 months
The Board of Investments of Sri Lanka (BOI) has attracted foreign direct investment at record levels notwithstanding a spate of global and local volatilities with total FDI inflows amounting to US$ 713 million in the first nine months of 2022, which is 71% of the 2022 full-year target of US$ 1 bn, revealed State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama.
Further, as of the first eleven months, BOI has inked a total of 123 agreements to the value of US$ 1.9 billion, which consists of US$ 1.5 billion in new projects and US$ 400 million in expansions.
New projects are from countries such as India, Japan, Norway, Hong Kong, the UK, the USA, and Singapore. Out of 41 new projects, the majority are for the manufacturing sector including apparel followed by ICT, Tourism, Infrastructure, Utilities, Services, and Agriculture sectors while most of the expansions of existing projects are from the manufacturing sector including apparel followed by logistics, telecommunication, ICT and Agriculture sectors.
Meanwhile, the export revenue of BOI enterprises topped US$ 7.9 Bn for the period from January to November 26, 2022.
Taking a look at the statistics related to merchandise exports, data from BOI Research & Policy Advocacy Department highlight that all export items except food, paper, and horticultural products have shown a significant increase in the given period compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
Accordingly, wearing apparel (excluding leather gar.) exports grew 8 % to US$ 4591.86 million in 2022 compared to the US$ 4261.48 million recorded in 2021, while rubber exports grew 3 % to US$ 1,052 million.
Also, other manufactured products (N.E.S.) exports grew 112 % to US$ 477 million, while PVC products grew 20 % to US$ 100.54 million.
In addition, export earnings from Jewellery & Lapidary increased by 16 % to US$ 134.99 million in 2022 while Leather Products (Including Leather Gar.) grew 72 % to US$ 16.32 and Footwear exports grew 146% to 2.6 million.
Apparel exports show the highest earnings in 2022 while footwear exports show the highest percentage in terms of growth.
The BOI has always been the forerunner of Sri Lanka’s export industry contributing over 65% to the country’s overall export earnings and 85% to the national industrial export earnings.
Canisius Fernando re-elected CNCI Chairman for another term
The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) had its 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 25th November 2022 at Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo. Thilaka Jayasundara, Secretary, Ministry of Industries was the Chief Guest while Chaminda pathiraja, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries was the Guest of Honour. Canisius Fernando, who had been the Chairman – CNCI for the past year was re-elected Chairman for another term at the AGM.
Fernando counts decades of experience in the private sector holding very senior and responsible appointments in reputed organizations in the country.
He has obtained his initial Degree in Management followed by a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. Currently he is holding the position of the Chief Executive Officer of Aqua Packaging (Pvt) Ltd. In addition to his responsibility as the Chairman CNCI, he also holds the honorary appointment of the Chairman of “Indexpo Certification Ltd” which is a Certification Body initiated by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries together with the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka.
Ceylinco Life continues green mission with new branch in Minuwangoda
Steadfast in its commitment to a greener environment, Ceylinco Life recently laid the foundation for its newest eco-friendly branch building in Minuwangoda, which will be the first of the Company’s branches to adopt a new low-cost precast concrete technology.
The new building will be built to the environment-friendly specifications adopted for all new branches on Company-owned land, and upon completion will be the 47th property to be owned by Ceylinco Life and the 32nd branch to operate in a Company-owned building.
The two-storey building at No 101, Veyangoda Road, Minuwangoda, will have 3,270 square feet of office space and seven dedicated parking slots.
As per the green mandate of Ceylinco Life, this branch will be powered entirely by a 20kW solar power system that results in zero consumption of electricity from the national grid, will have its own rainwater harvesting facility and a waste-water recycling system, minimising the use of pipe-borne water.
It will also be purpose-designed to make optimal use of natural light and will be fitted with energy-efficient artificial lighting and air conditioning systems. The precast construction method will also ensure minimal timber is used in the construction, the Company said.
Coordinated assistance program supported by multilateral financial institutions is required for Sri Lanka’s recovery – WB, ADB, IMF, AIIB
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