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Govt. urged to update book value of imported ceramic products



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council (SLCGC) urges the government  to update Sri Lanka Customs’ (SLC) ‘Text book’ or book value of key ceramic products imported into the country to protect local industrialists.

“There is an absence of a proper mechanism to implement the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act of 2018 to protect local producers from unfair competition for key ceramic local products,  SLCGC member and Art Decoration International (Pvt) Ltd. Founder Chairman, S. H.B. Karunaratne said. An SLCGC press conference was organised to focus on these matters by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on  Tuesday.

“To import a complete set of ceramic sanitaryware, which weighs 65 kgs and includes a commode, tank, basin, pedestal, seat cover and water fittings, the book value of valuation stands at US$ 35.00/Rs.6,350. This is an unrealistic amount as a complete set of ceramic sanitaryware cannot be manufactured for such a low cost,  Karunaratne said

“Once this is amended, local manufacturers will be able to compete with imports and it will also prevent cheap inferior quality items being dumped into our country. And this will also help to stop the huge outflow of foreign exchange, Karunaratne added.

“SLCGC seeks state intervention to correct this unrealistic valuation by amending the SLC’s “Text book” value to US$100.”

He pointed out that this would help Sri Lanka to resume sanitaryware imports and thereby pacify the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“Importers can continue their businesses, while the consumer will also be safeguarded, he added.Import restrictions still remain in force for sanitaryware products.

‘Sri Lanka’s ceramic industry saw its market shrinking by 35-40 percent last year mainly due to adverse impacts of COVID-19, according to SLCGC Vice President Mahendra Jayasekera.

However, he noted that prior to February last year, before the import restrictions came into force, Sri Lanka’s ceramic manufacturers, in particular the tile industry, had seen their inventories running up to 7 to 10 months, mainly due to influx of “cheap” and “low quality” imports of such items.

Since, import restrictions came into place, Jayasekera noted that most of these inventories were sold out. He stressed that local manufacturers haven’t raised their prices despite the import restrictions.

Although listed entities reported a surge in their profits in the last couple of quarters, he said in the upcoming quarter the profits of these entities might come down as these entities now depend on current productions with most of the piled up inventories being already sold out.

SLCGC Vice President Aravinda Perera noted that if the current environment is maintained over the next two years, the country would be able to be self-sufficient in ceramic tiles and sanitaryware products.

SLCGC said current industry players have earmarked around Rs.20 billion worth of investments to expand their operations in the country. 

Further, Jayasekera noted that several new entrants could also be expected during this year to meet the local demand.

According to SLCGC, local manufacturers currently fulfil around 60 percent of the local demand for ceramic products.

“Äs of now the ceramic industry of Sri Lanka has 20,000 employees, and with the current government policy, manufacturers are willing and ready to invest around Rs.20 billion to expand their current production and to set up new factories, which will in turn create around 15,000 – 20,000 new job opportunities for our youth, the SLCGC said.While welcoming competition, Jayasekera predicted that Sri Lanka could experience an excess of production in two years, enabling the country to export such products.

However, SLCGC expressed its concerns on the reduction of duty and cess imposed on ceramic imports by approximately 10 percent by the last budget despite the government’s assurance in supporting local industrialists.They insisted that policy consistency is the most crucial aspect in supporting local industries and entrepreneurs. 

The Council also sought government’s initiative to raise the minimum value of the duty for tiles to US$ 5 per square meter.

Further, it also urged the government to come up with a realistic policy framework in terms of mining resources, such as, ball clay.

Karunaratne pointed out that the current Agrarian Development Act requires amendments to facilitate mining in paddy fields to source ball clay, which is a crucial raw material for the industry.


Hemas Consumer strengthens portfolio with L’Oréal partnership in Sri Lanka



Hemas Consumer, the leading manufacturer and distributor in Sri Lanka’s beauty and personal care sector has strengthened its portfolio of offerings in a groundbreaking partnership with the world’s number one beauty company, L’Oréal. With this partnership Hemas Consumer obtains distributor rights to leverage its sales network and innovative marketing approaches in taking L’Oréal’s wide range of beauty and personal care brands across Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the new partnership, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Managing Director, Hemas Consumer & Executive Director Hemas Group said, “We have spent over fifty years building successful and strong consumer brands in Sri Lanka. In keeping with our promise of consumer delight and trust, we are elated to partner a world-class cosmetics group like L’Oréal expanding our existing portfolio with the world’s most sought-after beauty and personal care products.

We are well equipped in our distribution process with island-wide sales channels to serve all parts of the country. I believe this partnership will revolutionize Sri Lanka’s beauty care industry and more prospects await as we continue to look ahead with L’Oréal.”

Sabrina Esufally, Director Business Development and Innovation at Hemas Consumer said, “This partnership will enable Sri Lankans to access the iconic brands and solutions created through years of research and innovation by L’Oréal. In the fast evolving and dynamic beauty industry, the combined strength of Hemas’s local heritage and penetration, and L’Oréal’s global technology and trust is the perfect recipe for consumer delight.”

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DFCC Bank supports industrial excellence by partnering CNCI Achiever Awards



DFCC Bank PLC, stepped up once again for the 3rd consecutive year to partner with the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) as the principal sponsor and official banking partner of the CNCI Achiever Awards 2020.

The CNCI Achiever Awards was held for the 19th consecutive time to recognize the outstanding efforts of exceptional performers who have molded their respective industries with innovative solutions, while overcoming challenges and meeting the demands of their clientele. This year, the event was recently held under strict health guidelines at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo. 

Commenting on the sponsorship, Chief Executive Officer of DFCC Bank PLC Lakshman Silva stated, “We are pleased to have partnered with the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI), as the Main Sponsor and Official Banking Partner of the 19th CNCI Achiever Awards 2020. DFCC is honored to partner in reconciling successful Sri Lankan businesses from various industrial sectors. Our partnership with this prestigious awards programme aligns seamlessly with our commitment to foster and reward industrial growth across the country and support local entrepreneurs in MSME & SME sectors.”




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Lanka SSL triumphs with National Gold and Top Ten Awards



CNCI Achiever Awards 2020

Lanka Special Steel Limited (Lanka SSL), a trusted name in wires and a fully-owned subsidiary of E B Creasy & Company PLC, was recently awarded the coveted National Gold Award under the Extra Large category in the Manufacturing Sector at the Achiever Awards 2020 for Industrial Excellence.

The annual event organized by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) was held in March 2021 at Colombo, and celebrated some of the leading industrialists in the country for their tremendous and continued efforts in uplifting and promoting quality standards, productivity, growth and strategy, R&D, employee welfare and others whilst contributing to both the society and economy at large.

‘We are immensely proud to have been recognized with two very prominent awards at this year’s CNCI Achiever Awards. It is a huge leap from just winning a Merit Award the last time around, and this incredible achievement certainly reflects our highly ambitious plans to strive for continued excellence. We would like to thank our valued customers and all stakeholders. We are grateful to our hardworking and committed staff at Lanka SSL who have made this possible,’ said Pravin De Silva, CEO of Lanka SSL.

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