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Interactive seminar in rok on augmentation of SL’s power and energy

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The embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul in close coordination with the embassy of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in Colombo, UNIDO-ITPO (Investment & Technology Promotion Office) in Seoul, Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority conducted a two-hour webinar followed by a comprehensive and fruitful Business-to-Business (B2B) session last week.

The highly focused and structured digital webinar was sponsored by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, INGINE and the Training Hub of Asia, among others and was moderated by Tharindu Amarasekera, The primary objectives of the interactive seminar were to profile and project opportunities and vistas in the power and energy sector of Sri Lanka to Korean corporate leaders and companies, expound the benefits and utility of engaging in the realm of power and energy in Sri Lanka and to arrange and connect the corporates of Sri Lanka and the RoK in the sphere of power and energy to commit investments and forge business partnerships, thus mutually benefitting both the countries.

The moderator, Amarasekera, introduced the panelists and experts in the field of power and energy and Ambassador of the RoK, Santhush Jeong Woonjin, addressed the digital seminar on the aforementioned theme. In the address of ambassador Woonjin, he stated that Sri Lanka has a very stable government and economy, which are two of the vital factors for any potential investor to consider and to engage in commercial and business arrangements be it investments, transfer of digital technology or renewable energy in any given nation. In this context, ambassador Woonjin impressed and urged the Korean corporates to seize the opportunities and vistas created in the sphere of energy and power in Sri Lanka. He also accentuated that Sri Lanka is well poised and positioned to be a developed economy in the foreseeable future and this would be the most propitious time to enter Sri Lanka.

Similar sentiments were articulated by ambassador of Sri Lanka, Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis, who added that the global COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded a number of new vistas with regard to investments, development of mega infrastructural projects, public private partnerships and generation of power and energy, among others. He also added that energy or power sector is often described as one of the key strategic lubricants of economic evolution of any given nation and Sri Lanka is most eager to engage with the corporates in the RoK. Dr. Mendis concluded his brief remarks by stating to the Korean investors and corporates that Sri Lanka, similar to entering an equity/stock market when the market is about to rise and become a “bull market”, the economy and particularly power and energy sector of Sri Lanka, at this juncture, can be compared to an equity market which is about to rise and is the most befitting time to enter Sri Lanka. He earnestly urged and entreated the potential investors to look at Sri Lanka favorably and positively, after assessing and weighing the seminal and critical attributes of Sri Lanka, as a future “fulcrum of investments on power and energy”.

A comprehensive address was delivered by ambassador Hyundong Cho, Head of UNIDO-ITPO of Korea and former Deputy Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former ambassador for Public Diplomacy of the RoK delineated and outlined the significant functionaries of the UNIDO-ITPO and the manner in which the UNIDO-ITPO could assist and facilitate Sri Lanka in the sphere of power and energy. Amb. Cho elaborated and expanded in detail the criticality of technology, innovation and investments in navigating the future development of any given country, thus attaining the status of a developed nation. In this context, amb. Cho underlined and enunciated how the RoK had become a developed nation within a space of few decades.

Keethi Gunawardena, Senior Vice President of FCCISL, in his address, stated the role of FCCISL and how the FCCISL could promote, project and profile power and energy sector of Sri Lanka to the potential investors and corporates in the RoK. Both Gunawardena and Dr. Asanka Rodrigo, Director General of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, emphasized the seminal nature of power and energy for the economic and commercial expansion of Sri Lanka since Sri Lanka is now a middle-income nation. This sphere would play an instrumental role in elevating Sri Lanka from a middle-income nation to a rapidly developing higher-income nation in the foreseeable future. Dr. Rodrigo made an expansive presentation along the theme of creation of opportunities for sustainability and digital technology including renewable energy. Myung Sub Roh of Kosen Co. Ltd. of Korea and Dr. Farida Bondarenko, a consultant on Trade and Renewable Energy projects, also made dedicated and informative presentations, thus enabling the large select audience to comprehend the factual as well as optimistic situation of power and energy in Sri Lanka for the corporates of the RoK to commit investments and to engage. After the formal session, a number of companies and investors both from Sri Lanka and the RoK conducted B2B sessions, thus enabling them to connect and match with each other enabling to translate the B2B discussions to tangible power and energy projects in Sri Lanka, in the near future.



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LOLC Al-Falaah unveils pioneering Wadi’ah Gold-Storage Facility with multiple customer benefits

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Sri Lanka’s most awarded and trusted Alternate Financial services brand, LOLC Al-Falaah recently unveiled their ground-breaking new product – the Wadi’ah Gold Loan Facility. This is the 1st time a Finance company in Sri Lanka is offering this facility. Al-Falaah Wadi’ah is a unique gold storage option offered to Al-Falaah’s valued customer base. All gold articles are tested for quality and authenticity using state-of-the art equipment by the company’s experienced staff without causing any damage to the jewellery. A unique ‘Gold Storage Certificate’ with the description of articles, including weight, quality and quantity along with the market value will be issued to the customer when obtaining this facility.

Speaking about the new product, Mr. Shiraz Refai, Deputy General Manager of LOLC Al-Falaah said, “Gold is a favourite investment option at all levels within the concentrated community. The metal is usually pawned, sold or exchanged when in need of cash. As the conventional Pawning options and Gold Loan offering has limitations to cater to the specific needs, as well as contradict with certain beliefs of the community, a concept acceptable and practiced in the industry is introduced by LOLC’s Alternate Financial Services Unit to its valued customer segment”.

Accordingly, a unique feature has been introduced to the Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold Storage facility offering the Customer the benefit of obtaining an interest-free maximum Cash-Advance in the industry at zero mark-up against the gold storage certificate value for any emergencies. In addition, for the convenience of the customers, the Gold storage facility period is extended from 3, 6 and 12 months without any requirement for a deposit and the custodial fees are comparatively competitive. The stored gold articles will also be offered a free Takaful cover with a reassurance of highest safety and security.

The Al-Falaah Wadi’ah gold storage facility will be initially available at selected branches including Wellawatta, Akkaraipattu, Kalmunai, Pottuvil, Grandpass, Maradana, Mawanella, Matara, Nawalapitiya and Negombo. Al-Falaah aims to make the facility available across all LOLC Finance branches and dedicated Al-Falaah centers island-wide by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021.

Commenting on the new Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold loan facility, Nishantha Jayasekera, Chief Manager, SME Unit & Head of Gold Loan Business of LOLC Finance said, “The main aim of this facility is to give financial-access to the grass-root level clients who do not have direct access to banking & finance, but require small cash advances to develop daily businesses and self-employment. Through this product and its value added features, we hope to cover all segments of the population”.

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LANKATILES donates high-end ventilator to Colombo North Teaching Hospital

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A Rs. 4.3 million ventilator has been donated to the Coronary Care Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, by LANKATILES, the country’s leading tile manufacturer.

The machine was described as a high-end, world-class piece of equipment suitable for all patient groups.

Present at the official hand-over were Mr Mahendra Jayasekera, Managing Director of Lanka Walltiles PLC and Lanka Tiles PLC, Dr. S. P. A. Liyanage Ranaweera, Director of Colombo North Teaching Hospital, and Dr. Sanjeewa Rajapakse, Consultant Cardiologist of the hospital.

At a time when state-of-the-art equipment is urgently needed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, LANKATILES reaffirmed its commitment to help frontline hospital staff in their efforts at reducing the spread of the virus and easing patient numbers.

The company said this was a commitment it is ready to stand by at all times in the interests of the country.

 

 

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Sampath Bank hosts Central Bank’s ‘MatarataQR’ event to promote QR code use

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Matara, April 3rd, 2021: Sampath Bank PLC recently hosted the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) MatarataQR event, in a bid to drive awareness and increase acceptance and usage of LANKAQR, the common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country that was introduced in 2020.

Encouraging consumers to adopt the use of QR codes in their day-to-day transactions, the event was held at the Sanath Jayasuriya Grounds in Matara under the patronage of the Chief Guest, Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Power and Guest of Honour, D. Kumaratunga, Director – Payments and Settlements, Central Bank of Sri Lanka; along with senior officials from the CBSL, other commercial banks and financial institutions. Sampath Bank was represented by Nanda Fernando – Managing Director; Tharaka Ranwala – Senior DGM – Operations / Group Chief Marketing Officer and Ajith Salgado – Group Chief Information Officer.

At the event, the Bank actively promoted its ‘WePay’ mobile wallet which helped attract more customers while also onboarding new merchants. A 25% cash back was on offer for payments at over 200 merchants in Matara on the day, made via the LANKAQR enabled WePay digital mobile payment app.

“We are very proud to partner with the Central Bank to host this event that will highlight the safety, convenience and speed of getting onboard the LANKAQR payment standard to the people of Matara. These benefits, coupled with the advanced digital banking solutions offered by Sampath Bank, make it a simple choice to migrate to digital payment technology and we warmly invite the merchants in Matara to come experience the benefits of adopting this new method of payments,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC.

Sampath Bank is a 100% local bank that has deeply rooted itself in the lives of the people of Sri Lanka. Established in 1987, the bank has become a state-of-the-art financial institution that continues to be a market leader today thanks to its constant innovation and customer focused approach to business. It has introduced many firsts to the Sri Lankan banking sector including introducing ATMs to Sri Lanka, extended banking hours and slip-less banking to name a few. The Bank is steadily transforming itself into a ‘tech company engaged in banking,’ from the traditional approach of a bank engaged in technology.

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