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Industrial Development Board establishes Smart Facilitation Centre at Hambantota International Port

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Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Industries cuts the ribbon to open the Facilitation Centre at the Hambantota Maritime Center (HMC), along with General Daya Ratnayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries, Upasena Dissanayake, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board (IDB) and Johnson Liu, CEO, HIPG.

The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) entered into a sublease agreement with the Industrial Development Board (IDB), to establish a smart Facilitation Centre at the Hambantota Maritime Center (HMC).  The new center will smoothen the path for foreign investors focused on establishing projects in the Southern Province.

 The agreement was signed by Johnson Liu, CEO, HIPG and Upasena Dissanayake, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board (IDB) in the presence of Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Industries, at a ceremony held on 3rd December at 10.00 am.

 The Facilitation Center will provide investors with the support they need in finding suitable real estate and fast tracking required approvals via other government institutions. This will be an added advantage for all potential investors interested in investing in HIP and the Hambantota district, as the new IDB Facilitation Center coupled with the already established BOI-One-Stop-Service Center at HMC will create an investment friendly environment.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Industry Wimal Weerawansa said, “Many people now have different opinions about China, and whatever they say, we know that most of the investments that China has made are investments that help us generate dollar revenues, not investments that take our dollars out of the country. Our country receives dollar revenue from the Colombo Port City. We also collect dollars in taxes. The Hambantota Port once it establishes as a full-service port will bring in foreign exchange to our country. We need projects that can earn dollars. We decided on a Facilitation Centre in proximity to the port to fast track services for export oriented industries.” The Minister thanked HIPG CEO Johnson Liu and the HIP team for their support in providing the premises and other facilities in setting up the Center.

 “This move by the IDB is very positive for the port as well as the Southern region, given that the expansion and development of the Hambantota International Port is directly connected to the development of the southern region and in turn the Sri Lankan economy. Therefore, it is not just the port’s industrial zone that we are looking at but all the other industrial zones outside the port which will use HIP to import raw materials and export finished products. HIPG’s port investment services team is also promoting Sri Lanka internationally, showcasing what the country has to offer. We are confident that soon we will have a vibrant mix of light industries in Hambantota and adjacent districts that manufacture goods for both domestic and international markets,” says Johnson Liu, CEO of HIPG.

 Tissa Wickramasinghe, COO of HIPG says, “Part of the success of the development of industries in the south of Sri Lanka and creating an export market for it depends on the efficiency of the port. And in this sector we have been constantly breaking our own records and raising the bar in terms of productivity and facilities we provide. Our recent ISO certification, which is an achievement for a port in the whole of South Asia, endorses our efficient systems and processes. Year by year, we will continue to build on our systems, helping to bolster the confidence of all who use the port.”

 Hambantota Maritime Center is the port’s administrative building. It currently has tenants from different sectors, including the BOI. Most are from the Logistics and Commercial sectors while others include Travel Agents, Communication, Banking, Shipping, Government Institutes, Oil and Bunkering, Marine Services, Ship Building and Repairing, Engineering services, Manufacturing and Construction.



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Teejay achieves milestone US$ 250 million in sales in 2021-22

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Teejay Lanka PLC has reported a revenue milestone of Rs 50 billion at Group level for FY 2021-22, achieving its first annual sales of a quarter of a billion in US Dollar terms at the rates of exchange that prevailed during the year.A strong fourth quarter during which revenue grew 38% to Rs 13.5 billion, the highest quarter revenue since the Company’s inception, enabled Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer to achieve 12-month sales growth of Rs 17.8 billion or 56% to end what was a challenging year for businesses in general, on a high note.

The Group posted profit before tax of Rs 2.887 billion and net profit of Rs 2.517 billion for the year ending 31st March 2022, recording healthy growth of 11% and 18% respectively. Net profit for the fourth quarter was Rs 826.2 million, reflecting an improvement of 9%.At company level, Teejay Lanka increased revenue by 40% to Rs 29.4 billion for the year, and reported pre-tax profit of Rs 2.6 billion and net profit of Rs 2.4 billion, achieving growth of 23% and 24% respectively.

Elaborating on the Group’s performance, Teejay Lanka Chairman Mr Ajit Gunewardene said the revenue increase was the result of increased demand from the region. The enhanced volumes were delivered with the increased capacity within the Group and the support of outsourced partners, he said.Gunewardene said, however, that margins had been impacted during the year because of the upsurges in the prices of cotton, oil, freight, dyes, chemicals, and auxiliaries. “The increase in the costs of inputs has been the biggest challenge during the year,” he said, disclosing that enhancing efficiency within the Group and increasing prices to customers were the key strategies to counter the challenge.

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Nippon Paint Lanka accredited by Great Place to Work®

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Nemantha Abeysinghe, General Manager – Nippon Paints Lanka (Pvt) Ltd receiving the accreditation from Ms. Hasini Abeywardena, Project Manager – Great Place to Work Sri Lanka

Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Limited has been certified as one of the best workplaces in the country. The Japanese coatings company in Sri Lanka has received this recognition in the manufacturing and production industry category by the globally famed Great Place to Work®.

“We embarked on this to understand employee perceptions of the company. We are proud to have received this honor in our journey towards building and sustaining a high-work ethic, and performance culture,” said General Manager of Nippon Paint Lanka, Nemantha Abeysinghe. “Being recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work-Certified’ organization is an honor and a tribute to the hard work, pride, and dedication put in by every member of Nippon Paint Lanka. We went the extra mile during the COVID period to extend to our employees, special working hours, perks and annual bonuses despite a countrywide lockdown. As a result, the company saw everyone dedicating their efforts more than two hundred percent to uplifting the business.”

“Being certified as a Great workplace indicates that we have differentiated ourselves by creating a great place to work for employees and established Nippon Paint Lanka as an employer of choice. It has passed the rigorous measurement through analysis of results of the Great Place to Work® Trust Index© survey,” Abeysinghe added. Great Place to Work® research is backed by data compiled by assessing over 100 million employees around the globe. Every year, they conduct the world’s largest study of workplace culture and hold the gold standard benchmarks for each country, industry, location and more. Companies that want to be on a Best Workplace list start by getting Great Place to Work-Certified™. Through the Certification process, they capture employee feedback and details about the programs and practices that make a workplace unique.

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Clarification on default status helps boost share market

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Business confidence will likely build up in the wake of Central Bank Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe telling the media yesterday that Sri Lanka was not facing a hard default but a pre-emptive default, which entailed informing about the payment of funds beforehand until the IMF debt restructure plan comes into play.Further, JP Morgan, a leading investment bank in the United States is on record that with the recent political changes, the current political crisis in Sri Lanka will stand defused and the value of bonds will rise. This would also create some impetus for the stock market, analysts said.

They point out that political stability will lead to a rise in the value of bonds above current lows. The Bank predicts that this will facilitate discussions with the International Monetary Fund as well as the process of appointing legal and financial advisors.

“We think this stability should result in both IMF discussions and the process of appointing legal and financial advisors moving forward,” Reuters said quoting JPMorgan analysts.

“Political stability should pave the way for bonds to move higher from near all-time lows,” JPMorgan analysts added.

Amid those developments stock market trading activities started on a positive note and later moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 243 points down and S and P SL20 declined by 94.9 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.5 billion minus a crossing.In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 777 million (3.7 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 204 million (24.8 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 130 million (13.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 70.7 million (127,000 shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 56.8 million (914,000 shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 33 million (one million shares traded) and Lanka IOC Rs 30.3 million (752,000 shares traded). During the day 69 million share volumes changed hands in 17000 transactions.

It is said that following four sessions of sharp gains recorded in the CSE soon after the appointing of Ranil Wickramasinghe Prime Minister, indices edged down due to profit-taking in heavyweight stocks across sectors due to faulty speculation on the market. However, activity picked up to stronger levels with turnover surpassing Rs. 3 billion for the first time in nine weeks, largely boosting blue- chips, market analysts said.Yesterday, the Central Bank announced the US dollar buying rate as Rs 354.56 and the selling rate as Rs 364.53. The rupee rate has appreciated as against the dollar as certain policy measures have been adopted to bridge the gap between the Central Bank rate and the kerb market rate.

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