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Korean Ambassador hosts the Annual GKS Alumni Reunion Gala Dinner 

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The Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) alumni reunion was held on the 6th of December 2021 at the Jetwing Colombo Seven Hotel. The annual event was a wonderful occasion bringing all facets of the alumni community together including the future GKS participants in Sri Lanka. It was a delightful evening with the Alumni sharing their positive life experiences during their stay in Korea that has had a significant impact on their lives.

Addressing the gathering, Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka, H.E. Santhush Woonjin JEONG stated that “I am very glad that the network of GKS alumni family is expanding over the years. The GKS programme offers many valuable opportunities for young people globally including in Sri Lanka to pursue higher education in Korea. As scholars who received this wonderful opportunity, I am sure you experienced the merits of studying in Korea. It is now your duty to provide useful information and advice to aspiring Sri Lankan students who wish to study in Korea. I hope more and more people are encouraged to pursue this scholarship as it will enhance the friendship between our two countries and promote educational cooperation.”

GKS is designed to provide students with opportunities to study at higher educational institutions in Korea at graduate-level degrees, which will enhance international education exchange and deepen mutual friendship between Korea and Sri Lanka. Through the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS), offered by Korea’s National Institute for International Education Development (NIIED), students worldwide including in Sri Lanka can study in Korea for free. Every year, more than 10 Sri Lankan students have received this scholarship from Korea to pursue undergraduate and graduate programmes in Korea.

GKS envoy Dr. Sachini Amarasekara shared valuable information on “language learning and postgraduate training experience in South Korea”. She praised the excellent set of teachers and in-depth knowledge she gained from her experience in Korea which contributed immensely to her career as a lecturer in the University of Colombo.

The Immediate Past President of the GKS Alumni Association in Sri Lanka, Dr. Aruna Ranaweera delivered a presentation on “GKS, Lessons Learnt from Korea & Beyond.” As a senior lecturer at the Department of Physics and Electronics in the University of Kelaniya, he said that GKS has had a great impact on his professional success. The valuable lessons learnt from his stay in Korea have helped him achieve the Award for the Innovator of the University and the Award for the recipient of the highest amount of Research Grant in Sri Lanka.

The President of GKS Alumni Association Tharanga Ranasinghe also presented insightful advice on his experiences as a Volunteer in Korea during GKS. The informative presentations reflected their love and appreciation to Korea and their enjoyable educational experience in Korea.

The guests enjoyed an excellent dinner alongside lively conversation reminiscing their amazing time in Korea.



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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