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Mandate given to govt. reflects ‘aggressive expectations’

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The mandate received by the new government at the recent parliamentary election ‘represents aggressive expectations with respect to accelerated and inclusive economic revival and national development in a post-Covid-19 context, a Ceylon Chamber of Commerce press release says.

The CCC is ‘optimistic that the government will lever its mandate to exercise exceptional, bold and innovative measures which will accelerate economic revival’, the release adds.

The release: ‘The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce congratulates Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the newly elected government on its victory at the 2020 general election and the clear majority mandate received from the voting citizenry.

‘The Chamber believes that the mandate received reflects among other factors the confidence earned by His Excellency the President and the government through the exemplary outcomes delivered with respect to the control of the Covid-19 pandemic cumulating to the protection of life and livelihoods. Equally, the Chamber is of the view that the mandate also represents aggressive expectations with respect to accelerated and inclusive economic revival and national development in the Post-Covid-19 context.

‘The Chamber is optimistic that the government will lever its mandate to exercise exceptional, bold and innovative measures which will accelerate economic revival. The multi-faceted challenge ahead will also call upon the government to double down on the fundamental tenets of domestic production, narrowing of the trade deficit, and the strengthening of fiscal and monetary disciplines, alongside a progressive approach to global market access. It also remains fundamental that a Second Wave of Covid-19 is prevented at all cost.

‘The Chamber welcomes the decision of of His Excellency the President to limit the size of the Cabinet of Ministers, thereby signaling a headline commitment towards driving productivity and performance in the public sector, as well as the management of fiscal deficits. On the backdrop of this directional signal, the Chamber is optimistic of the commitment of government focus towards the recalibration of public sector expenditure, the empowerment and upskilling of the civil service, a concerted effort towards State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) reform and spawning of Public Private Partnerships as modalities of capital mobilisation.

‘The Chamber looks forward to the establishment of a fresh paradigm with respect to Governance, Policy formulation and Implementation Management, featuring the streamlining of Ministries with clear and synergized assignment of subjects, alongside the delineation of Policy, Regulatory, Public Enterprise and performance management functions. The Chamber further recommends that the optimised configuration of Ministries be enshrined in legislation in order to ensure continuity in government policy and implementation.

‘Accelerated economic revival will be predicated on the effective execution of a Public-Private Shared Vision for Economic Revival and Social Sustenance. The Chamber accordingly seeks from the government, a progressive dialogue inclusive of the timely consultation of business chambers with respect to policy formulation and legislation, so as to ensure Sri Lanka’s Large, Medium and Small Scale Enterprise Sectors garner superior competitiveness thereby forming a cornerstone of the nation’s economic revival. The strengthening of growth enablers encompassing digitisation, health, education, food security and energy sufficiency should also remain as shared priorities of the Private and Public Sectors.

‘The Ceylon Chamber in its capacity as the premier representative of the private sector, looks forward to ongoing engagement with the government of Sri Lanka with respect to the national agenda of driving accelerated economic revival alongside the delivery of inclusive benefits to all segments of citizens and businesses.’

 

 

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A ‘phygital’ experience at HSBC Premier Centre in Pelawatte

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With the demographic equation changing and the mass affluent customers now also choosing to live in the suburbs, HSBC is gearing its branches of the periphery of the city to service customers in this segment.

Pelawatte has become the latest HSBC branch to be upgraded to be an exclusive Premier Banking Centre to meet the growing demand of the affluent population in the residential hub of the Colombo metro region.

The newly refurbished Premier Centre was declared open by Mark Prothero, CEO for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives. Also present was Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking, together with senior management and staff.

Nadeesha Senaratne, said, “HSBC has established a long history of 128 years in Sri Lanka, and in the past few years we have seen the value of strategically expanding to meet the specific needs of our customers.”

HSBC’s Pelawatte branch was opened in 1998 and is conveniently located at no 418B Battaramulla – Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla which currently serves a diverse portfolio of retail banking customers. With the new improvements undertaken, HSBC hopes to provide customers with an inclusive banking service, and attract potential new customers with its Premier banking proposition and worldwide banking service, within the expanding residential neighborhood.

The Premier Centre in Pelawatte models HSBC’s flagship Premier Centre located in Flower road- Colombo 7, with an expansive ‘open’ space concept for casual open dialog with customers. The space has been optimized to enhance the customer experience by providing a ‘phygital’ banking experience with private meeting rooms specially designed to give customers an exclusive banking service with the assistance of a dedicated Relationship Manager. It also features video conferencing facility, which enables customers to connect with their Premier RM’s internationally, while enjoying the highest standards of privacy. Customers can walk out of the branch with the ‘Bank in their pocket’ by opening an account in less than an hour and begin transacting digitally, almost instantly.

(HSBC)

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SLT & Mobitel successfully conclude digitization of Lankagama Village

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Fulfilling its role as the nation’s pioneer in Telecommunication Services, the SLT Group successfully completed the President’s directive of providing high-speed connectivity solutions to the Lankagama Village recently.

An event was held to mark this proud achievement on 20th September 2020 in the presence of Oshada Senanayake – Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), Lalith Seneviratne – Group CEO of SLT & Mobitel, Kiththi Perera- Chief Executive Officer of SLT, M.B.P. Fernandez – Chief Operations Officer of SLT, Prabath Dahanayake – Chief Marketing Officer of SLT, Sudarshana Geeganage – Chief Financial Officer of Mobitel, Shashika Senerath – Chief Marketing Officer of Mobitel, Rasantha Hettithanthrige – Senior General Manager, Engineering & Operations at Mobitel along with SLT & Mobitel technology partners Huawei, ZTE and the community.

The SLT Group provided high-speed 4G/LTE broadband and enhanced voice services within record-time despite the fact that the Lankagama Village is located at the southern boundary of the Sinharaja Rain Forest, in the Neluwa Divisional Secretariat, Galle District; posing severe logistical challenges. Further, the SLT Group also offered SMART classroom solutions consisting of tabs, laptops and school supplies including stationery thereby opening up a world of possibilities for the students in the remote village. (SLT)

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Local tyre manufacturers say ‘no need’ to import motorcycle and three-wheeler tyres

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

Local tyre manufacturers request the government not to import motorcycle and three-wheeler tyres as they have the capacity to supply locally produced premium quality tyres for the segment, without leaving room for any supply shortage in the market.

“We have the combination of quality and technology to meet the demand in the market”, a leading local tyre manufacturer said.

“We have the capacity to meet the local demand for motorcycle and three wheeler tyres and we are already supplying the products to the market, fully meeting its demand,” they said.

“In 2019, Rs. 1,062 million worth motorcycle and three-wheeler tyres and tubes were imported to the country. This means we are able to save Rs. 1,062 million in foreign exchange this year by producing all of these locally”, they pointed out.

“We produce sufficient quantities of high-demand tyres for the local market without any supply shortage. We are supportive of the government’s drive to encourage Sri Lankan companies to manufacture goods that can be manufactured in Sri Lanka. We request the continued support of the government to keep our efforts up in this direction,” they said.”Only a few types of tyres of special sizes are not produced locally. Those products are imported in small numbers. There is lesser demand for these tyres as they are not widely used”, they said.

“Apart from establishing ourselves in the local market, we are in the process of further improving our production capacity to boost our current export volumes. As a result of it, we will be able to create new jobs for thousands of Sri Lankans”. they said.

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