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Colombo Port operations continue without any hindrance

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Message from the chairman; Sri Lanka Ports Authority

I take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to all those who contribute to the continuation of efficient and reliable operations of all ports of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority ( SLPA) and all terminals operating in the Port of Colombo and elsewhere in the country during this challenging period. All of your services are equally important.

It is a commonly accepted fact by now that the Covid-19 pandemic spreads around the globe have posed challenges to the active function of the global supply chain. Consequently, supplying the daily needs of the public to ensure the safety and well-being of all was challenged. But, we all worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges we faced and to fulfil the responsibilities and duties of our part of the global supply chain. As a result of our collective efforts, this part of the global supply chain functioned smoothly on time.

Unfortunately, some parties with vested interests are giving inappropriate and manipulated interpretations to the work that we all continue to do collectively to ensure the safety of all. There is a risk of spreading unnecessary fear in the society, including among stakeholders and other interested parties in shipping and maritime industry, due to these hyperbolical stories propagating by these parties.

I would like to reaffirm that SLPA has promulgated the all necessary health measures as quickly as the pandemic was reported and started disrupting the global supply chain. Our priority is the health and well-being of all. Accordingly, strictly health measures have introduced for the smooth operation of the port, the heart of the country a.k.a. the lifeline of the nation.

All operations at the Port of Colombo continued without any interruption. All port premises and access gates are keenly monitored around the clock and systematically disinfected. Randomly selected teams working and engaging at various capacities in the Port of Colombo and other ports in the country are regularly subjected to PCR and antibody tests. The medical advice given on the results of those tests is facilitated to be followed in the same manner.

Due to the precarious situation prevailing in the country, the number of employees required to report for duty has limited. The special precautionary arrangement followed by strictly health guidelines has been introduced and implemented for all employees reporting for duties. Other employees have instructed to perform their duties from home.

Therefore, all of your continued supports are crucial at this need of the moment to make the terminal operations and port activities, an essential service in the country, more successfully. It is important to recall that the challenges we face shall easily overcome through collective action and sincere commitments. We all have a responsible role to play in defending the health and well-being of all and conserve the terminal and port operations and other activities. Everyone’s role is crucial and equally essential.

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realme dares to leap into Sri Lankan youth market with cutting edge devices

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realme, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, launched its products in Sri Lanka on the November 23. The virtual launch event took place with the participation of Chanux bro and realme Sri Lanka team where benchmark, trendsetting realme products were introduced to the Sri Lankan market.

The launch expands the reach of the fastest smartphone brand to reach 50 million product sales worldwide, to a brand new market with young users looking for the very best in technology and smart devices. Ranked among the Top 5 brands in over 13 markets globally in just two years of operation, realme is ranked seventh globally. Proclaiming it will ‘dare to leap’, realme identifies with young people who are willing to take a risk, and has launched four cutting edge products to the Sri Lanka market, set to exceed expectations.

realme 7 – sharper captures and cooler gaming with faster charges

realme 7 grabs the imagination of the youth with a 64MP Quad Camera with Sony IMX682 sensor for sharper captures, the World’s First MediaTek Helio G95 Gaming Processor for cool gaming and a 30W Dart Charge, taking just 26 mins to get 5000mAh battery 50% Charged. The sleek smartphone comes with a 6.5-inch 90Hz Ultra Smooth Display with a 16MP In-display Selfie Camera and Starry Mode.

The first smartphone to have passed TÜV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability, realme 7 is the first in segment smartphone with the Sony 64MP Quad Camera.

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President to inaugurate CCC Sri Lanka Economic Summit

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Sri Lanka’s foremost economic summit will be inaugurated by Chief Guest Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on December 1. The summit is themed “Roadmap for Take-off: Driving a People Centric Economic Revival”. The President will also deliver the inaugural address.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, will launch the second phase of the summit on December 2 and participate in the VVIP session focused on “Empowering Take-off: Efficient Government and Progressive State Enterprises.”

The Inaugural session on December 1, commencing at 8.30am will feature addresses by keynote speaker Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Republic of India and Guest of Honour Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya – chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will deliver the welcome address.

The flagship summit will be held on a virtual format in compliance with health guidelines and will bring together key policymakers, business leaders as well as the input of top international thought leaders will come together to identify the steps in developing the pathway towards the accelerated and people centric revival of the country’s economy.

Participants may register for the entire two-day virtual summit, or pick the sessions of their choice, an opportunity offered for the first time. Registrations for the event are now open. For further information, please contact Niroshini on niroshini@chamber.lk or 0115588852; or Alikie on alikie@chamber.lk or 0115588805. (CCC)

 

 

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Central Bank’s policy rates decision to be driven by two options

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank will be reviewing its monetary policy stance on November 26. In this context, First Capital Research has put forward strong arguments both for and against an interest rate cut, in its Pre-Policy Analysis.

Making their argument against further relaxation in monetary policy First Capital said, “As a response to the measures taken by the government, private sector credit has improved to Rs. 87.4Bn in September while market liquidity reached Rs. 140 bn by 13th Nov indicating that there is surplus liquidity in the system. Moreover, the unemployment rate, which was at 5.7% in the 1Q2020 has declined to 5.4% in the second quarter. These indicators suggest that economic activity has remained steady without much deterioration in the 2Q. Except the GDP growth numbers, where the 2Q2020 figures are yet to be seen, other indicators are signifying a recovery, inquiring the need of further policy easing at the upcoming review”.

“In response to previous monetary easing measures implemented by CBSL, to bring down costs of borrowing of businesses and households, both market deposit and lending rates adjusted notably so far during the year. AWPR declined to historic lows in recent weeks, while banks’ lending rates also witnessed a downward adjustment in line with CBSL’s expectations. We believe that considering the recovery in the private credit and historic low levels in AWPR, there is no vital requirement for CBSL to provide a rate cut and to further bring down the market lending rates drastically”.

Their arguments for further relaxation in monetary policy was: “A thrust for development is the need of the current government. We estimate that Sri Lanka’s GDP would see its steepest contraction in history of -5.8% in 2020 following the unexpected contraction in 1Q GDP growth of -1.6% while 2Q GDP figures are yet to be seen. However, the government’s key drive is the development oriented economic growth which was spelt out through the budget 2021 as well. Accordingly, the government plans to reach 6% and above GDP growth during the next 5 years commencing from 2021. As we believe, a development-oriented budget coupled with further low interest rate environment can support the government’s medium-term goals. Therefore, the need to accelerate the GDP growth can be considered as a major factor favouring further policy easing at the upcoming review.”

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