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Local investors are most welcome to invest in East Container Terminal: SLPA chair

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A ship berthed at the East Container Terminal, yesterday. The terminal has been developed to its present operating capacity by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Local investors will get the pride of place to invest and operate the East Container Terminal (ECT) in the Port of Colombo, and the most credible proof for that is quite obvious as South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), a Sri Lankan owned company is already operating a terminal single-handedly without any foreign stake in its business. General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake, SLPA chairman said yesterday.

He said so responding to a question posed by the media whether the government is not too keen to hand over the operations of the controversial ECT to a local investor.

“SAGT is a public private partnership container terminal in Sri Lanka, which provides a competitive best in-class service to the shipping community in the world, and any local investor can come forward and do exactly the same thing and gain from it,” he said.

He went on to say that is exactly the thing the government would welcome as the policy of the government is to give lucrative investment opportunities to local investors above anyone else.

“The government doesn’t have any plans to sell the country’s assets to another country. Nothing like that is happening. SLPA has built the ECT to its present capacity. The terminal was designed to be 1,300 meters long. By January 2015, 430 meters had been built and necessary equipment had been ordered. Somehow those approvals were removed by the last government and development of ECT stalled. Yahapalana government signed an MOU with India and Japan to operate the ECT. The current government’s policy is not to sell these assets. Last government had planned to obtain a loan from Japan and build it. The present administration has decided not to obtain any loans or to sell it to another country. The latest situation is; the Cabinet has appointed two committees. One to study, review and report how to raise funds to build the East Terminal and how to start and operate it. The second committee is tasked with discussing with India and our other partner institutes and companies and decide on the best solution to get it off the ground at its fullest capacity. When these two reports come the government will take the next step regarding the development of ECT,” SLPA chairman said.



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Rootcode wins Startup of the Year and People’s Choice Award at SAARC Startup Awards 2022

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Rootcode, one of Sri Lanka’s leading tech companies, recently took home the “People’s Choice Award” in addition to being bestowed with the “Startup of the Year” title at the SAARC Startup Awards 2022. This regional recognition marks a significant milestone for the Sri Lankan tech space and workforce. Rootcode’s mission to build great tech is well underway, and it is gaining traction faster than ever.

This is the first time a Sri Lankan tech company has made a name for itself in the regional competition, and it is a watershed moment that has focused the global spotlight on Rootcode’s distinct approach to fostering innovation in Sri Lanka. This is also the first time that a Sri Lankan company was able to take home two awards of those presented at the SAARC Startup Awards.

Global Startup Awards SAARC celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and promotes bridging boundaries through innovation in its regions, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, by recognizing them with its most prestigious awards program, attended by top-notch entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, and ecosystem builders from Nordic, Central Europe, SAARC, and ASEAN regions.

Every year, the SAARC Startup Awards bring together hundreds of South Asian startups, entrepreneurs, investors, co-working spaces, and accelerators to provide a platform to highlight trailblazers in the region’s startup world. Rootcode was chosen ahead of dozens of other regional tech startups in the competition.

Sri Lanka is a relative newcomer to the South Asian startup fraternity, and Rootcode’s ability to represent the country on the global stage not long after its inception is remarkable.

“We are extremely humbled and honored by the support shown to us at the SAARC Startup Awards 2022, and being recognized under two categories is a huge milestone for us,” said the CEO and Founder of Rootcode Labs, Alagan Mahalingam. “We have always been driven forward by excellence, collaboration, and integrity, which I believe is the reason why we have come so far and why Rootcode continues to grow every day.”

Rootcode is driven by its focus on helping businesses build great tech not just locally but globally, and its achievement at the SAARC awards stands as a testament to that. Despite the challenging times, this is a win for Sri Lanka.

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INSEE Cement felicitates Sri Lanka’s youngest Commonwealth medallist

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INSEE Cement awarded aspiring wrestler, Nethmi Ahimsa Fernando, who won a Bronze Medal for Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, LKR 1 million cash reward, to support her to pursue her passion. Suranga Kumara, her coach, also received LKR 250,000 cash reward, in appreciation of his contribution towards Nethmi’s recent achievements. INSEE Cement has also pledged to support Nethmi’s aspiration to represent Sri Lanka at the 2024 Olympic games, while also providing the entire cement requirement for the completion of her new house, which is presently under construction, in collaboration with the Manusath Derana initiative.

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Textile maker Teejay knits strong start to 2022-23

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Q1 revenue more than doubles to Rs 23.9 billion

Teejay Lanka PLC has made a positive start to 2022-23 posting Group revenue of Rs 23.9 billion for the three months ending 30th June 2022. The Group achieved nearly half its full-year revenue of 2021-22 in just the first quarter of the new financial year as a result of the low base of the previous financial year due to the impacts of COVID, the depreciation of the Rupee and the passing on of yarn price increases during the last quarter.

In a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer said it had also recorded significant growth in pre-tax and net profit at both Group and Company level in the quarter reviewed.According to interim financial statements, Group profit before tax for the three months grew by more than Rs 1 billion or 291% to Rs 1.5 billion, while Group net profit for the period was up 301% to Rs 1.2 billion.

At Company level, revenue improved by 108% in the quarter under review to Rs 12.9 billion, while profit before tax grew by 323% to Rs 1.5 billion, and net profit increased by 311% to Rs 1.3 billion.

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