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Korean ambassador visits the Governor of Central Province

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On 09th December 2021, Korean ambassador to Sri Lanka, Santhush Woonjin JEONG visited Kandy, Central Province and met with the Governor of Central Province,  Lalith U. Gamage at the Governor’s office. They engaged in a fruitful discussion on opportunities for cooperation between Korea and Sri Lanka.

Both Ambassador JEONG and  Lalith U. Gamage reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation in areas such as tourism, education, economic and cultural collaboration in advancing interests on areas of mutual benefit to both countries.

During the discussion Ambassador Santhush emphasised that the Central Province is rich of abundant history and beautiful landscapes. “I hope more and more Korean national tourists visit these wonderful places. As the Korean Ambassador, my priority is to intensify people-to-people exchanges and promote cultural cooperation between Korea and Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankans are keen on learning the Korean language. This year, the Korean language was officially adopted as a foreign language for the Advanced Level curriculum and by 2023 students can choose to sit for Korean language examination as part of the University entrance examinations. I intend to promote the Korean language education in Sri Lanka. I am ready to explore the potentials in Korea-Sri Lanka partnership, especially cultural exchanges, tourism, Korean language education and employment cooperation. Recently, the Government of Korea decided to resume the entry of new foreign workers to Korea, including Sri Lankan workers. As my Sri Lankan name “Santhush” means happiness, Korea would like to share happiness together with Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan people.”

Furthermore He thanked Hon. Lalith Gamage for the cooperation extended to secure the public safety of Korean residents and tourists in the Central Province. “I sincerely appreciate the diligent efforts of the authorities concerned for ensuring the health and safety of Korean residents in the Central Province amidst the pandemic. Korean residents and Korean businessmen in Sri Lanka are playing an important role to bridge our two countries and peoples. The safety and health of Korean residents is of paramount importance to me and the Korean Embassy.” Ambassador Santhush further requested that “I hope their safety and well-being continue to be well taken care of. It will indeed further elevate our bilateral ties.”

Lalith Gamage extended a warm welcome for Ambassador Santhush to the Central Province and mentioned that the Central Province is looking forward to engage with the Korean Embassy to promote educational interests such as ICT projects and vocational training initiatives. Echoing the Ambassador’s wishes, he also emphasised the importance of people-to-people exchanges and intensifying tourism especially to the Central Province.

First Secretary of the Korean Embassy, Ms. Miyeon LIM and the Research Officer, Mr. Jeonhun BYEON accompanied the Ambassador during the meeting.



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Berendina bags Silver at the CA Sri Lanka 56th Annual Report Awards

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From left: Sarath Chandra Fernando - Director-BMIC, Charith Fernando - Deputy Managing Director-BMIC, Saman Manatunga - Acting Head of Finance-BMIC, Dilhara Jayasinghe - Assistant Manager Compliance & Corporate Relationship-BMIC, Ranel T Wijesinha - Past President CA Sri Lanka, Jagath Godakanda – Chairman-BMIC, Chaaminda Kumarasiri – Chairman-Annual Report Awards Committee 2021 and Chamila Cooray - Alternate Chairperson-Annual Report Awards Committee 2021

Berendina Micro Investments Company Limited, better known as BMIC among its microfinance clientele and partners, won the Silver award at the 56th Annual Report Awards organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), under the category of Finance Companies and Leasing Companies (total assets up to Rs. 20 Billion). Over 70 companies, ranging from conglomerates, multinationals to non-profit organisations, and SMEs, were honoured at this year’s competition for their excellence in financial reporting. The gala event of this year held on 09th December 2021 at BMICH. Being the first Microfinance Company licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, BMIC is no stranger to this annual competition having won a prestigious Gold Award in 2017 and Merit Award in 2018.

The award from CA Sri Lanka is the fourth award to be won by BMIC during the financial year 2021, having won 3 international awards, namely, ‘The Best Microfinance Company in Sri Lanka’ and ‘The Best Agricultural Lending Company in Sri Lanka’ awards from the UK based Global Banking and Finance Review magazine as well as ‘Donor’s Choice Award’ at the international competition conducted by SCALE Green Creative Adaptation Awards in USA in 2021. Focused on poverty alleviation, BMIC as a Microfinance Institution (MFI) extends micro-credit facilities and enterprise development services that ensure long term sustainability and growth of business ventures of its clients, providing loans at the lowest interest rate compared to other MFIs in Sri Lanka. At present, BMIC manages a loan portfolio of over Rs. 3.1 billion and an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 900 million. It supports well over 70,000 microfinance clients through its 30 Branches in 11 districts. The CA award bestowed on BMIC is another testament to its commitment in continuously supporting its clients to overcome the obstacles during difficult times, while preserving its transparency in reporting, corporate governance, sustainability and social responsibility.

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SLIC repositions Business Club insurance with more focus on SMEs

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Sri Lanka Insurance last week announced repositioning of its Business Club insurance, a trade insurance policy which provides a comprehensive business insurance solution to fit for the diverse insurance need of small and Medium enterprises (SME).

“According to the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka SMEs are considered to be the backbone of the economy with a contribution up to 52% of the GDP. SMEs play a crucial role to battle the poverty in the country providing employment opportunities for the youth as the SMEs does not require capital than large firms. Further SMEs increase tax bases much quickly when compared to large firms,” an SLIC news release explained.

“Recognizing the importance and vital contribution made to the economy by SMEs, Sri Lanka Insurance went back to the drawing board to refine the “Business Club” comprehensive insurance solution to cater to the unique requirements of the businesses,” it said.”

“Therefor the insurance solution was developed to reinforce the success and safety of the businesses.”

The insurance plan will provide protection for any businesses be it retail, grocery store, supermarket, pharmacy or any other covering many perils inclusive of environmental dangers such as floods, cyclone, fire, lightning as well as other factors such as breaking and burglary, SLIC explained.

The release further said an array of main covers are available for businesses inclusive of fire and/or lightening, explosion, malicious damage, aircraft damage, earthquakes along with the free covers such as cost of removal of debris, loss of rental, architect, surveyors, consulting engineering fees, cost of alternative accommodation etc..

A range of additional covers are also available at an additional premium for businesses to choose. Money insurance during transit and while at premises, accidental breakage of glass cover, sign board cover, electronic equipment all risk cover are among the many additional covers offered.

Interested parties who’d like SLIC to assist in developing an insurance solution that covers the business risks can contact SLIC call center on 011 2 357 357.

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German fruit and tea importers stresses importance of packaging

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Jan Paul Bethke, a leading German importer of Sri Lankan fruits and tea, at a recent

EDB-organized event, urged Sri Lankan agri-product exporters to practice effective and superior packaging if they are to be successful in terms of capturing markets in Europe.

“If you package your product well, include a QR code (incorporating extensive details such as the farmer who grew products), and convey a personalized story, customers in advanced markets such as Germany and Europe would develop an affinity with your products”, Bethke noted.

He made these remarks at a Jan. 12 forum forum organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) on packaging and value addition strategies to enhance Sri Lanka’s agri-product exports to Germany, an EDB news release said.

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