External Sector Performance – February 2022
The momentum of export earnings continued with over US dollars 1.0 billion for the ninth consecutive month in February 2022. Meanwhile, import expenditure also increased substantially in February 2022, year-on-year, while recording a decline, compared to the previous month. The trade deficit widened, compared to year before. Tourist arrivals showed a notable recovery in February 2022 over the same month in the previous year. Workers’ remittances continued to moderate in February 2022.
Foreign investment in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded a net inflow during the month. The weighted average spot exchange rate in the interbank market hovered around Rs. 202 per US dollar during February 2022. However, the Central Bank allowed a measured adjustment in the exchange rate in the first week of March 2022, in view of the heightened pressures on the exchange rate amidst subdued liquidity in the domestic foreign exchange market, resulting in an overshoot subsequently by market forces beyond the expected level of depreciation in the measured adjustment.
Merchandise Trade Balance and Terms of Trade Trade Balance: The deficit in the trade account widened to US dollars 781 million in February 2022, compared to the deficit of US dollars 572 million recorded in February 2021. However, on a month- on-month basis, the trade deficit declined in February 2022 from US dollars 859 million recorded in January 2022. Meanwhile, the cumulative deficit in the trade account during January to February 2022 widened to US dollars 1,640 million from US dollars 1,227 million recorded over the same period in 2021. The major contributory factors of the trade deficit are shown in
Terms of Trade: Terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports,
deteriorated by 10.7 per cent in February 2022, compared to February 2021, as the increase in import prices surpassed the increase in export prices.
Performance of Merchandise Exports
Overall exports: Earnings from merchandise exports in February 2022 grew by 14.7 per cent over February 2021, recording at US dollars 1,092 million. An increase in earnings was observed in industrial exports and mineral exports, while a decrease was observed in agricultural exports. The cumulative export earnings, which increased by 16.1 per cent during January-February 2022 over the same period of the last year, amounted to US dollars 2,192 million.
Industrial exports: Earnings from the export of industrial goods increased in February 2022 by 19.4 per cent, compared to February 2021. This increase was due to a broad-based increase in earnings from most of the industrial products led mainly by garments and petroleum products. Export of garments to all major markets improved. Earnings from the export of petroleum products increased due to the increase in both prices and volumes of bunker and aviation fuel exports. Further, a sizable increase was recorded in the exports of food, beverages and tobacco (mainly manufactured tobacco, chocolate and liquid coconut milk), base metals and articles (mainly tools and aluminium structures), rubber products (mainly solid tires and surgical rubber gloves), gems, diamonds and jewellery, machinery and mechanical appliances (mainly mechanical appliances parts and electric conductors).
However, a marginal decline in earnings was reported in the categories of Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE), such as face masks categorised under made up textile articles, and plastic clothing articles categorised under plastics and articles, reflecting the decline in demand for such items.
Agricultural exports: Total earnings from the exports of agricultural goods in February 2022 declined by 2.1 per cent, compared to February 2021, due to the decrease in export earnings from tea, spices and unmanufactured tobacco. The drop in export earnings from tea by 10.4 per cent (y-o-y) was mainly due to lower export volumes (a decline of 9.1 per cent), while average export prices (a decline of 1.4 per cent) also partly contributed to this decline.
Emirates and Dilmah Tea celebrate 30 years of partnership
Dubai, UAE, May 2022 – Emirates and Dilmah Tea have enjoyed a longstanding partnership of brewing the finest teas on board and in Emirates’ airport lounges around the world for the past 30 years. To mark the milestone on International Tea Day, all Emirates’ passengers received a special tea box when they flew from Dubai a few days ago.
In addition, First Class passengers on flights to the UK were treated to a food pairing, while passengers in the Emirates’ Onboard Lounge were offered Dilmah Tea infused mocktails. The special tea pack for all passengers who flew on Saturday contained three different flavours: Ceylon Breakfast, an Emirates exclusive Turmeric Coconut and Vanilla tea, and the popular Earl Grey with Honey.
In First Class, Emirates offered the Brilliant Breakfast, one of the many gourmet teas created by passionate Tea Maker and Dilmah founder, Merrill J. Fernando. This was paired with the afternoon tea service on board.
Moroccan Mint Green tea was exquisitely paired alongside Labneh – a tangy and creamy yoghurt – with roast vegetables for vegetarians. While Dilmah’s Sench Green Extra Special tea – renowned for its delicate taste with herbal finish with a touch of sweetness – was served with sushi, particularly seafood.
“Emirates focuses on dishes that emphasise fresh ingredients of the highest quality. We pay special attention to every detail and the quality of the tea we offer our customers is no different. The fact that we have served Dilmah Tea for 30 years across all our cabins is proof of its quality and our satisfaction with the perfect cup of tea.
“We have an exceptional partnership with Dilmah and we have grown in tandem for the last 30 years. Over 9.6 million tea bags are used each year across our fleet with more than 10 tea varieties on offer, including an exclusive Emirates Signature Tea served in First Class,” said Thomas Ney, DSVP, Service Delivery at Emirates.
Dilhan C. Fernando, son of Dilmah Founder and CEO of the family company explained: “For 30 years we have grown a tea inspired collaboration with Emirates, offering customers a uniquely Emirates experience in tea. To celebrate the Pearl Anniversary of our partnership in tea, we made a tea that is as rare as it is magnificent. A seasonal tea with extraordinary finesse, handpicked from tea bushes prepared for months and crafted into a numbered limited-edition tea.
“Our co-operation with Emirates truly presents the luxury in fine tea, and – in our tea mocktails and food pairings – contemporary, tea inspired hospitality. For the last 30 years we have created these unique moments for Emirates customers either on the ground, in its lounges around the world, or at 40,000 feet and this year is no different. We are excited to have the special 30-year blend on board Emirates’ fleet.”
A world-class partnership
Millions of world class cups of tea have been poured for Emirates’ customers since the airline’s partnership with Dilmah began in 1992.
The airline brings the finest products on board through long standing partnerships worldwide, including support for local suppliers and artisans. Emirates takes the Dilmah brand to more than 130 destinations on six continents.
The teas offered on Emirates are chosen by popularity amongst customers, catering to different preferences like minty or citrus infusions as well as by looking at tea drinking trends. With an increasing focus on wellness amongst customers, the airline recently introduced a new tea in its airport lounges – Turmeric, coconut and vanilla featuring antioxidant properties.
On board, the most popular tea in Economy Class is the Dilmah Ceylon Black Tea while passengers in First and Business Class favour Moroccan Mint and Breakfast Tea. Emirates serves a selection of six teas in Business Class and its airport lounges, and a further six teas in First Class.
AkzoNobel honours students of City School of Architecture at Colour Awards 2021-2022
– Annual design competition celebrates young design talent for fourth year running
AkzoNobel Paints Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., in partnership with the City School of Architecture (CSA), honoured the winners of the Colour Awards 2021-2022 at the CSA Graduation & Awards Ceremony held recently at the BMICH.
A partnership initiated four years ago by the producer of Dulux paints in Sri Lanka, the annual competition hopes to raise the bar of design and innovation standards and encourage young creative talent as important future players in a fast-evolving industry.
Every year the prize invites first year students from the City School of Architecture to face a new colour and architecture-themed design challenge. After several mentoring sessions by the academic staff of CSA -namely Archt. Nela de Zoyza, Archt. Anurangi Mendis, and Archt. Shayan Kumaradas-, participants are then required to produce a final submission and present it to a high-profile selection committee.
This year, each submission was reviewed by a star-studded panel of industry specialists, including Mr. Romesh de Silva, Ms. Charmaine Mendis, Archt. Shevanthi Basnayake, Archt. Kosala Weerasekera, Archt. Rehan Thillakeratne, and Archt Nandika Denipitiya, together with the Managing Director of AkzoNobel Paints in Sri Lanka, Mr. Wasantha Heenatigala.
Following a rigorous judging process, the five most impressive submissions were chosen, with winners being conferred a generous cash reward, as well the prestige of having being recognized by the pioneers of the paint manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka and the world.
Speaking at this year’s ceremony, Upendra Gunawardhana, Head of Marketing of AkzoNobel Sri Lanka commented, “As a leading global paints and coating company, we are convinced that in helping develop and highlight emerging talent, we are also playing a crucial role in shaping the future of the industry. With the Colour Awards we hope to provide a platform through which university students can hone their design thinking skills on an industry level, while at the same time also consistently set benchmarks of innovation for the years to come.”
“Over the years AkzoNobel has played a significant role in supporting the educational growth and creative development of our students through its Colour Awards,” said Archt. Professor Lal Balasuriya, Head of School of the City School of Architecture. “Here, young design aspirants are given the chance to test the limits of both, their creative ingenuity and industry acumen, and we’re sincerely grateful to AkzoNobel for this transformative opportunity.”
Wing Commander (Retd.) D. Pradeep S. Kannangara elected president, Industrial Security Foundation
The Industrial Security Foundation (ISF) which acts as the sole organization in Sri Lanka to represent the Private Security industry having incorporated by an Act passed in the Parliament, Act No. 51 of 1999, elected Wing Commander (Retd.) Pradeep Kannangara as its President for the years 2022/2023 at its 30th annual General Meeting which was held at the PIM Auditorium in Borella. Wing Commander Pradeep Kannangara was appointed President while 14 other members were appointed to the Executive Committee, strengthening the ISF in order to drive and uplift the standards of the private security industry in Sri Lanka.
He has served on the ExCo consecutively since 2012 under four different presidents where he held the positions of Senior Vice President during the last three consecutive years. He has also been a committed member of the ISF and was awarded prestigious coveted FISF title due to his many valuable contributions to the organization and the Private Security Industry in Sri Lanka in 2012.
Wing Commander Kannangara’s journey into private security began after a successful career in the Sri Lanka Air Force for over 24 years where he served in many capacities finally being the Officer Commanding of the Special Air Borne Force. A recipient of the Ranasura Padakkama (RSP) Gallantry award for his bravery, sacrifices and service to the nation by the President of the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1990. He holds a Master’s in business management from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia too and serves as a Board Director in AB Securitas (Private) Limited in Sri Lanka and AB Securitas Bangladesh Limited.
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