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CICT declared Asia’s Best Container Terminal under 4 mn. TEU for 5th consecutive year

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Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has continued its winning streak on the global stage by winning the award for the ‘Best Container Terminal in Asia’ in the Under four million TEUs category for a record fifth consecutive year.

The winner of this prestigious award was announced on Thursday (21) at the 2021 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) awards gala at the New World Millennium Hotel in Hong Kong.

“This award is a victory not just for CICT but for the Port of Colombo, of which we are an integral part,” CICT CEO Jack Huang said. “Competition among ports is intense at the best of times and more so when the global shipping and cargo logistics sectors are faced with disruptions and challenges due to a pandemic and the resultant economic downturn. This award affirms CICT’s ability to maintain efficiency and competitiveness in the face of adversity and is a tribute to the commitment and passion of the CICT team as well as to the support we receive from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to maintain operations at optimal levels.”

CICT, which is managed by China Merchants Port Group (CMPort), beat three other shortlisted finalists in its category – Dalian International Container Terminal (China), Jakarta International Container Terminal (Indonesia) and Laem Chabang International Terminal (Thailand) – to win the AFLAS award.

Hosted by Asia Cargo News, the AFLAS awards are designed to honour leading service providers including air and shipping lines; airports and seaports; and logistics, 3PLs and other associated industry professionals for demonstrating leadership as well as consistency in service quality, innovation, customer-relationship management and reliability.

More than 40 different awards were presented to leading companies in the cargo, logistics and supply chain sectors at the 2021 edition of the AFLAS awards. Two new awards were introduced this year, to represent changes and growth within the industry. The ‘Best Logistics Service Provider – eCommerce’ and ‘Best Logistics Service Provider – Warehousing’ awards recognised leaders in these rapidly-evolving and expanding areas.

Commenting on the awards, their presenter said: “As ever, the awards are designed to honour the respective winning organisations for demonstrating leadership as well as consistency in service quality, innovation, customer relationship management and reliability. Many firms have shown outstanding innovation and leadership in the last 12 months, and we are sure this year’s awards will be very illuminating.”

The AFLAS winners are decided by going through a three-step process, considering industry opinions, and through nomination criteria and technical evaluation by Asia Cargo News. The shortlist of finalists is sent out to more than 15,000 readers to vote.

Huang attributed CICT’s achievement to the terminal’s continuing high levels of productivity leading to fast ship turnaround times. Nominees for the AFLAS awards are judged on adherence to criteria standards encompassing higher operational productivity, efficient turnaround of trucks delivering and picking up containers; provision of suitable container shipping-related infrastructure; cost competitiveness, customer service level and customer satisfaction; timely and adequate investment in new facilities to meet future demand; innovative operating environment, facilitation of ancillary services and ease of doing business activities; and effective and easy-to-use IT systems.

CICT manages the South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first deep-water terminal in South Asia, which is equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. Since its inception in 2014, the terminal has incrementally grown the volume it has handled; from 686,639 teus in 2014, to 1.56 million teus in 2015, 2 million teus in 2016, 2.38 million teus in 2017, 2.67 million teus in 2018, 2.9 million teus in 2019 and 2.89 million teus in 2020.



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Passport Office collaborates with banks to boost international monetary transfers from migrants

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Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal hands over a new account to a young migrant worker which he opened at the new HNB counter at the Passport Office yesterday, where Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of HNB was present. Pic by Thushara Athapaththu

by Sanath Nanayakkare

People’s Bank, National Savings Bank , Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka yesterday established new banking counters at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, at ‘Suhurupaya’, Battaramulla.

The initiative is intended support the Central Bank’s ongoing effort to boost the country’s foreign reserves by offering migrant workers access for safe, official remittance channels from the time they obtain new passports or renew their passports for international jobs.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka who was the chief guest of the opening ceremony said,” A lot of Sri Lankans go overseas for jobs and send their hard-earned money to Sri Lanka. Sometimes they face various issues when remitting money. So we thought we should provide the opportunity for them to open an account as they obtain their passports at the passport office which they can operate with greater ease and trust when sending money to their families from abroad. The Controller of Immigration and Emigration, his staff, the officials at the Central Bank and at other relevant banks worked in unison to establish their counters here just within a week. This shows that government institutions can collaborate with the private sector and quickly accomplish any task for the benefit of the country and its people. Our hard-working migrant workforce will enjoy the convenience and reliability of this service. As a result of it, more foreign money will flow into the country and the nation will reap benefits from it,” he said.

Workers’ remittances have been a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency earnings that has nearly 100 per cent of domestic value addition, providing a substantial cushion for external sector resilience of the country. Workers’ remittances have covered around 80 per cent of the annual trade deficit over the past two decades, and strengthening remittances inflows to the country brings several socio-economic benefits including the smooth supply of forex inflows to the formal banking system.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka established a new department named ‘Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department’ with effect from November 3, 2021 to facilitate and streamline workers’ remittances inflows to the country.

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SLT-MOBITEL powered SLIOT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020 fostering innovation

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider was the proud sponsor of SLIoT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020, championing innovation in Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics to reward and further develop a pipeline of tech talent and critical skills among Sri Lanka’s youth. The winners of the competitions were honoured at a special ceremony held recently.

SLIoT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020 was a collaborative effort between SLT-MOBITEL, the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Moratuwa and the IT and Computer Engineering Sectional Committee of Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka (IESL). Recognising the value of promoting digital inclusion among youth and to develop new generation technology concepts, SLT-MOBITEL sponsored the event for the fourth consecutive year. Both competitions encourage technological innovation among youth which in turn provides avenues for SLT-MOBITEL to capitalize on its futuristic thinking towards a connected future.

The SLIoT Challenge 2020 theme centred around the current pandemic ‘Overcoming COVID-19 with IoT’ and over 77 submissions were received. SLT-MOBITEL comprehends that IoT is being widely embraced with the number of connected devices growing rapidly. SLT-MOBITEL recognizes that driving an IoT competition for Sri Lankan youth allows students to unleash their potential in the IoT domain and acts as a gateway to support the country’s evolution towards digital transformation.

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Akshata launches unique new tea blends

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Akshata brand, a pioneer in promoting health and wellness the traditional way presents herbal tea alongside honey/jaggery as an alternative to sugar, redefining tea consumption.

Akshata ‘Ranawara’ herbal tea which promotes clear skin and health benefits for the body is dedicated to Queen Soma Devi who was acclaimed for her beauty, bravery, and sacrifice to save King Valagamba in 77 BC.

Managing Director of Grains N Green, Roshan Perera says, “In addition to the myriad of health benefits, consumers are encouraged to experience a taste of nostalgia with each sip of Akshata herbal tea. Today’s health-conscious consumers increasingly buy items that support their nutrition and fitness. Sugar is no longer included in this list due to its negative impact on one’s health. That’s why we have introduced healthy alternatives for sugar. Putting honey or jaggery in tea is a much healthier choice than using sugar as it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly, and with our product you can get the tea as well as

the sweeteners all in one pack. This saves time, money, and is a healthier alternative to drinking tea with sugar.”

Akshata herbal tea with bees honey/Jaggery is available at Spar and Glomark supermarkets and can also purchase online at askshatastore.com

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