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Govt revives crucial EU-Sri Lanka investor dialogue

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Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance chaired the above investor forum on 31st January 2022 at the Ministry of Finance. Namal Rajapaksa -Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology, D V Chanaka -State Minister for, Aviation and Export Zones Development , Tharaka Balasuriya – State Minister of Regional Cooperation also participated in this discussion.

Denis Chaibi , Ambassador for the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives who was the co-chair of the meeting spoke of bilateral trade and EU’s investments in Sri Lanka. He said that the dialogue was an important forum to solve the issues of EU investors and retain them in Sri Lanka in the long run”. He also stated that “the EU would like to make Sri Lanka an attractive investment destination for potential investors from the EU”.

The European Union was represented by Holger Seubert , Ambassador, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sri Lanka, Eric Lavertue , Ambassador, Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Tania Gonggrijp, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Franceso Perale, Deputy Head of Mission , Embassy of Italy, in Sri Lanka, Arnaud Lion, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium (based in India). Jean-Alexandre Egea , Economic Counsellor, Embassy of France in Sri Lanka, Thorsten Bargfrede, Deputy Head of Mission for the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives who also coordinated this event.

Eng. Raja Edirisuriya ,Chairman – Board of Investment delivered the opening remarks and gave an outline of the over view of the economic situation, foreign investment trend in 2021 and the latest measures and regulations to support foreign investment. In conclusion the Chairman BOI stated that “Doing business in Sri Lanka has now returned to normalcy, despite what the country went through with the pandemic” He further stated that “the BOI looks forward to working closely with the EU to facilitate the existing investors as well as to encourage the existing companies to re-invest and expand their operations in Sri Lanka” .

The matters discussed at the dialogue comprised of the foreign exchange crisis in Sri Lanka, the need for a better consistency regarding investment and tax policies, the need for a streamlined, clearer and easy process to establish a company in Sri Lanka, positioning Sri Lanka as a transport and logistic hub, promoting public private partnerships to boost EU Investment in Sri Lanka, improve the trade facilitation to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of the economy, modernising the health sector.

Senior Government officials led by S R Attygala, Secretary to the Treasury, respective line agencies including Central Bank of Sri Lanka , National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Commerce and BOI participated in the discussion.

The EU-Sri Lanka Investor Dialogue is a facilitation forum that was launched originally by the BOI in 2014, in close collaboration with the European Union Delegation in Sri Lanka. Hence it has been an effective platform for existing investors from the EU to discuss issues faced by the companies with Senior Government officials in order to find solutions. The European Chambers of Commerce in Sri Lanka(ECCISL) and the Delegation of German Industry of Commerce (AHK), along with the Deutsche Bank and leading companies from the EU such as: Michelin (Camso Loadstar) . Diesel & Motor Engineering Plc, (DIMO) B Braun, CMA CGM, Haffle International, OTV Veolia, , Calamansi Cove Villa project (Jet Wings Hotel) Baurs and Hapag-loyd, also participated in the dialogue.

Both sides agreed to continue this dialogue on a regular basis, as well as to discuss issues faced by investors from the Eu on one to one and arrange for technical sessions with the relevant agencies and respective EU Missions to follow up and to make the facilitation more effective.



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Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 

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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 

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CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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