Marketers call for Sri Lanka nation-branding efforts to be made on a unified theme
CB Governor Cabraal calls marketers to join hands with the government for trade, tourism and investment promotion
Sri Lankan marketers, while coming forward to support nation branding (one of the most daring challenges in global market entry) have also been asked to effect such promotional branding on a unified theme, instead of the piecemeal messaging style that is being practiced in global markets at present.
The leaders and members of Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), the apex body for Sri Lankan marketers, took a positive view of the government’s call made on 17 November for marketers ‘to come forward to globally position Brand Sri Lanka’ but also suggested a coherent approach to be adopted in it, across all three verticals of the country’s wealth generation-tourism, investment and international trade.
Marketers’ were forthcoming on the national invitation issued during an address made by the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal at the “Future Ready Economy Budget 2022” Panel Discussion organized by SLIM on 17 November. During the event, Governor Nivard Cabraal praised SLIM’s contribution to the country thus far while calling on Sri Lankan marketers to come forward to join government’s efforts to promote and position the country in the global arena. SLIM’s panel discussion of 17 November focused on the impact of the Budget 2022 on various aspects of Sri Lanka’s economy.
Addressing the session, Governor Cabraal said: “We need clarity to bring stability to the nation. No one realizes the importance of stability until they lose it. For this we have taken several steps during the last few weeks. You will see the effects of these changes in the coming weeks. New infrastructures such as the Colombo Port City and Hambanthota Port have huge economic potentials. You as the marketing community, have a great role to play here. Every facet of these potentials should be reflected in all minds across the world. We are targeting USD 150 billion GDP in the coming years. This will not be impossible if we set out the parameters. As marketers I saw you transform businesses and people but if you (as marketers) can transform the country, that shall be a great victory. Sri Lanka needs to package globally in a way that attracts international investments. This is achieved through such mechanisms as campaigns and roadshows. It is important for marketers and the government to work together to bring new investments to Sri Lanka.”
The reputed panel of speakers at the session consisted of Dr Ravi A. Fernando (Board Member, LOLC Holdings PLC, Aitken Spence Plantation Managements), Prof. Neelika Malavige, Head of Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, Sujeewa Mudalige (Managing Partner, PWC Sri Lanka), Devindre Senaratne (Managing Director, JourneyScapes (Pvt) Ltd), Pasan Wanigasekara (DG-Board of Investment) and moderated by Shiran Fernando (Chief Economist-Ceylon Chamber of Commerce). The Panel Discussion on Budget 2022 that followed was broadcast live over SLIM’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/slimonline.
Ms. Thilanka Abeywardena, President, SLIM addressing the session said: “SLIM has been the National Body for Marketing in Sri Lanka for the past 51 years. SLIM supports the core objective of a Future Ready Sri Lanka. Through Future Ready Sri Lanka SLIM aims at encouraging entrepreneurship, innovation, skills, and knowledge-based industries for economic recovery in the new normal. Its overall focus on upskilling and education is expected to result in the knowledge based economy. SLIM has been contributing to the country’s development over the past five decades. The Pandemic changed how we live our lives and the way we run businesses changed. The future is about knowledge based and innovation driven industries. SLIM’s Future Ready Sri Lanka role is not one of a ‘plug and play’ but one that involves, in addition to upskilling, changing people’s mindsets to be able to face the future in the new normal. Today we wish to present SLIM’s Report titled “Implications of Budget 2022 on Marketers (Budget Proposals – November 2021)”. SLIM works with entrepreneurs of all sizes and shapes and is present widely in our business sector.”
‘Govt. lacks mechanism to recover USD 40 billion spirited out of SL from 2008 to 2018’
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The government doesn’t have any mechanism to recover the USD 40 billion that was siphoned out of the country illegally from 2008 to 2018 by Sri Lanka’s business elites, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Peradeniya Dr. Kalpa Rajapaksha said.
“Most people think that the IMF loan is a victory for Sri Lanka without knowing its risk factors. These are exceptionally high because one of the main impacts would be for the banking sector whose liquidity is due to weaken on account of high tax impositions and certain economic reforms, Dr. Rajapaksha told The Island Financial Review.
Dr. Rajapaksha added: ‘The tax relief given during President Gotabaya Rajapaksha’s tenure triggered this issue, which cost government coffers more than Rs 450 billion. However, Sri Lanka has to carefully follow IMF recommendations taking its history into consideration. It is said that Greece and Ethiopia and several other countries absolutely failed by following IMF recommendations in the past.
‘We are in the dark as to the method of economic recovery because the government is attending to deeper, burning issues in the country, such as reduction of poverty and ending economic inequities.
‘The imposition of heavy taxes on people, especially professionals, via a wealth tax and a heritage tax by 2025 and the increasing of direct taxes, such as VAT, on low income classes, without taking into account the need for a wage hike, will iraise the poverty level and widen wealth inequalities.
‘Inflation at the global level is very high and strategies are required to increase exports and cut down the heavy import dependency of the economy. This is a prerequisite to address all economic woes.
‘The previous ruling party squandered and stole billions of dollars but the present government not having any plan to recover that money is a tragedy. Therefore, promoting neo- liberal principles is impossible under the current corruption scenario.
‘Further, the IMF has set the target of reducing the debt to GDP ratio to 0.7 per cent in 2023, along with their recommendations. Many people doubt the achievability of these aims.’
Global banking sector instabilities affect local bourse
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE trading got off to a positive start but later turned negative yesterday due to huge selling pressure. The reasons being investor worries over a domestic debt restructuring mechanism after having secured the IMF loan and the negative global scenario when it comes to the banking sector, market analysts said.
According to analysts, during the last week strategically important banks in the global economic system went through credit default swaps, especially Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Credit Suisse Group AG. But another leading European Corporate Bank possibly facing a credit default swap, created some ripple effects for economies like Sri Lanka, analysts said.
The All- Share Price Index went down by 134.1 points and S and P SL20 declined by 51.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 871 million with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in NDB, which crossed 1.2 million shares to the tune of Rs 51.6 million; its shares traded at Rs 43 and Aitken Spence 772,000 shares crossed for Rs 47.1 million, its shares traded at Rs 61.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, SLT Rs 82 million (717,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 52.8 million (8.2 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 50.1 million (298,000 shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Non- Voting) Rs 36.5 million (388,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 33.6 million (251,000 shares traded), ALC Cables Rs 33.3 million (406,000 shares traded) and Sunshine Holdings Rs 27.2 million (633,000 shares traded). During the day 45.4 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.
The market is generating revenue from SLT over news of it being divested; moreover, there has been interest for the hotel and tourism indexes, since tourist arrivals and earnings have been attractive, an analyst said.
It is said that Treasury bond yields opened steady on Monday, while the rupee opened weaker at spot market, dealers said.
A 01.07.2025 bond was quoted at 30.75/31.00 per cent on Monday, up from 30.90/31.20 per cent on Friday. A 15.09.2027 bond was quoted at 28.00/70 per cent, up from 28.00/50 per cent from Friday. The Sri Lanka rupee opened at 322/325 against the US dollar, weaker from 320/325 a day earlier.
Holding ‘Raid Amazones’ for second consecutive year in SL, a rare honour for her – Head of Marketing Srilankan Airlines
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
More than 250 female French athletes arrived in Sri Lanka for the challenging ‘Raid Amazones’ adventure event that took place last week in Kandy. They arrived in Sri Lanka for the second consecutive year, which was a big achievement for the country when it comes to the tourism sector, Head of Marketing SriLankan Airlines Saminda Perera said.
“For the first time in ‘Raid Amazones’ history they selected one country for two consecutive years, which could be considered a great honour for Sri Lanka. This would enable more French tourists to arrive in Sri Lanka in the future, Perera told the media recently during the event in Kandy. ‘Raid Amazones’ will hit the streets of the fabled hill capital, Kandy, with the participation of over 250 female athletes.
‘Raid Amazones’ is a well-known annual destination adventure event originating in France, which features female athletes competing their way through a range of challenges, such as, orienteering, mountain biking, canoeing, riding, running and archery.
“Sri Lanka was chosen over rival destinations by the event’s founders due to the unparalleled warmth of its people and support on the ground to pull off a successful event. Their decision is also due to SriLankan Airlines’ tireless marketing efforts to secure the popular trail on successive occasions for Sri Lanka in its hour of need for international tourism support, Perera said.
Tourism sources added: “During the 21st edition of the trail, the participants will be able to connect with a potpourri of natural and historical highlights as they trek through the Kandyan plateau in Central Sri Lanka.
“Their journey, though, would begin from the moment that they step onboard SriLankan Airlines to fly from Paris to Colombo, on an aircraft dedicated to ‘Raid Amazones 2023’.
“Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kandy, the iconic setting of ‘Raid Amazones 2023’, is renowned for two of the most recognizable cultural symbols that define Sri Lanka.
“SriLankan Airlines partnered Raid Amazones in 2022 soon after recommencing operations to Paris.
“SriLankan Airlines, together with Connaissance de Ceylan, the official ground- handling partner of the event, will go all out to ensure that the French group experiences the best in Sri Lankan hospitality.
“This event will especially help create more awareness of Sri Lanka as an adventure travel hotspot among French travellers and the rest of Europe, where ‘Raid Amazones’ is sought-after and attracts adventure-seekers.”
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