due to a larger decline in imports compared to the decline in exports.
According to the latest external trade data released by the Central Bank, country’s trade deficit narrowed in November 2020 by US $ 198 million to US $ 565 million, from [US $ 762 million] recorded in November 2019, due to a larger decline in imports compared to the decline in exports.
Amidst a decline in earnings from exports, a number of positive developments were observed in the external sector in November 2020, including a lower trade deficit, and a notable increase in workers’ remittances.
Merchandise imports continued to decline supported by the continuation of restrictions on non-essential imports and low global oil prices. There was a notable decline in merchandise exports in November compared to previous months due to disturbances to domestic production processes with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further, the cumulative deficit in the trade account from January to November 2020 narrowed to US dollars 5,416 million from the deficit of US dollars 7,213 million recorded in the same period in 2019.
Terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports, improved by 0.6 per cent in November 2020, compared to November 2019, with import prices declining more than export prices.
Overall exports: Earnings from merchandise exports suffered in November 2020 due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka and abroad. Earnings from exports declined by 16.3 per cent to US dollars 819 million in November 2020, compared to November 2019. This was a 3.4 per cent decline compared to October 2020. Measures imposed to combat the second wave of the pandemic locally affected production in key export sectors, garments in particular. Further, the second wave of the pandemic experienced in export markets affected demand for exports, while significant disruptions to global shipping and logistical chains also affected local businesses negatively.
Industrial exports: Earnings from the export of industrial goods declined by 19.6 per cent in November 2020 compared to November 2019, mainly due to the 37.2 per cent decline in garment exports. Health related restrictions in factories contributed significantly to this outcome. Meanwhile, earnings from the export of petroleum products declined significantly due to the reduction in bunkering quantities as well as prices. While exports of a number of smaller factory-based export sectors also declined, export earnings from some industrial export categories increased. The latter included; gems, diamonds and jewellery; rubber products (with increased exports of tyres and gloves); and plastics and articles thereof (with increased exports of personal protective equipment such as plastic clothing articles).
Agricultural exports: Export earnings from agricultural goods declined by 2.3 per cent in November 2020 compared to November 2019, due to a reduction in the export of seafood, minor agricultural products (fruits, edible nuts, betel leaves, etc.) and tea. Earnings from tea exports declined by 5.2 per cent, with declines in volumes of black and green tea exported, while unit prices of both types marginally increased. Agricultural exports that displayed an increase in earnings were spices (led by cinnamon and pepper), coconut (mainly coconut oil and non-kernel products) and rubber.
Aitken Spence invests in yet another renewable energy project in hydropower
Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Aitken Spence PLC accepting the share transfer form from Harsha Abeywickrama – chairman Sunshine Energy Ltd; in the presence of Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Dr. Rohan Fernando – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam – Chief Financial Officer Aitken Spence PLC and Leel Wickremarachchi – Managing Director of the power segment from Aitken Spence PLC. Shyam Sathasivam – Managing Director, Sunshine Energy Ltd. and Harin Udeshi – Director, Waltrim Energy Ltd.
Aitken Spence PLC recently acquired Waltrim Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC for Rs. 900 million. The company contributes 6.6MW to the national grid via three mini hydropower plants located in the Nuwara Eliya district, namely of Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited, Upper Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited and Elgin Hydropower (Private) Limited. Waltrim hydropower draws energy from Kothmala Oya, Upper Waltrim hydropower and Elgin hydropower from Dambagasthwala Oya.
Aitken Spence expands its portfolio in hydropower in the pursuit of meeting rising energy demands, sustainable development, access to clean energy and lowering our national carbon footprint. This is the second hydropower plant which is owned and operated by Aitken Spence. Branford Hydropower (Pvt) Ltd. is the other hydropower plant with a 2.5MW capacity located in Matale. The company also owns and operates a wind power plant with 3MW capacity located in Ambewela.
“This is yet another investment made by Aitken Spence that shows our commitment to expand the power generation portfolio with renewable energy projects. Hydro power plays a key role in renewable energy segment in Sri Lanka and this initiative strengthens the country’s efforts to move towards cleaner energy sources and effective and efficient management of sustainable and affordable generation of energy supplied to the national grid,” commented Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.
“Aitken Spence maintains highest environmental, safety and quality standards in the management of our power plants. These stringent management frameworks will be extended to the newly acquired power plants to meet compliance requirements as well as global benchmarks for cleaner production of energy,” added Leel Wickremarachchi, Managing Director of the power segment of Aitken Spence.
The Power segment of Aitken Spence is a leading player in the sector with a reputation for investing in pioneering technologies and has diversified into renewable energy by establishing hydro power and wind power plants to support Sri Lanka’s demand for energy. With their commitment to increase the country’s energy consumption from renewable energy sources, the company recently introduced Sri Lanka’s first waste to energy power plant that was officially launched in February 2021. Moreover, these initiatives are in line with the collective efforts of government and the private sector to produce clean energy sustainably.
Best Woman Entrepreneur at Entrepreneur Awards 2020
Christell Skin Clinic proved their mettle as industry leaders yet again, by clinching the three topmost awards at the recently held Western Province Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony 2020. The highly-anticipated annual event -jointly organised by the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka- took place this year at the BMICH.
The event brought together industry leaders and newcomers with the aim to recognise and honour micro, small, medium and large sector entrepreneurs that have contributed significantly to Sri Lanka’s service sector over the past year.
The country’s leading aesthetics and wellness centre took home The Best Enterprise service sector trophy, as well as the Best Entrepreneur of the Year award – the most sought-after prize of the night. More notably however, the Best Woman Entrepreneur title was awarded to the director of the Christell Skin Clinic, Dr. Shanika Arsecularatne, in recognition of her inspirational journey to becoming one of the most successful businesswomen in the country, and also of her outstanding contribution to the field of cosmetology and wellness in Sri Lanka.
“I’m truly honoured to receive this recognition, especially because I believe that no one receives an award like this out of sheer luck, but rather in acknowledgement and appreciation of the hard work, sleepless nights and sacrifices we have all made, to be where we are today,” said Dr. Arsecularatne on accepting her award.
Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete car park in Sri Lanka
The car park of the Walgama Food City with its new “Paving with Plastic”
As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Cargills holds a strong commitment to serving the nation and preserving the planet for future generations. By partnering with AGC Innovate Pvt Ltd – one of the country’s leading innovative solutions providers – Cargills initiated the launch of “Paving with Plastic” as a means to address Sri Lanka’s plastic waste menace in an ecofriendly and pragmatic approach.
The benefits of plastic are irrefutable – this versatile material is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, due to it being cheap and convenient to produce as well as being highly durable and user friendly. However, once used and disposed, plastic lingers in the environment for too long and does not decompose.
As a result, the inherent problem of plastic pollution is a global crisis, with Sri Lanka generating approximately 7000 metric tons of mismanaged solid waste daily, with 6% accounting for plastic and polythene waste. Therefore, in the absence of a proper waste management system, non-recyclable plastic is dumped in large landfill sites. These sites are now exceeding their maximum capacity, and has led to pressing environmental and social concerns in the country.
As a first step to tackling this waste plastic problem, Cargills made a landmark decision to pave the Cargills Food City Carparks using Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete, partnering with AGC Innovate.
SL gets Rs 452 mn for saving ill-fated tanker: Rs. 3.4 bn asked for
Teach students animal rights for a better world
A tall tale told by cops
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Features6 days ago
Origins and growth of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
Life style7 days ago
Career choice in the midst of a revolution
Features6 days ago
JVP and the Cost of Lost Revolution
Life style7 days ago
The Place of the Physician in Sri Lanka’s Society
news7 days ago
Chinese Sinopharm jab under fire over ‘safety and efficacy’ concerns
Business7 days ago
Bad news for tea industry as auction prices slide
Politics7 days ago
WHAT’S WITH THE SINOPHARM VACCINE?
Features5 days ago
Are we geared to handle aflatoxin problem meaningfully?