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Nations Trust Bank finalises USD 40mn loan granted by FMO

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Nations Trust Bank announced recently the finalisation of a loan facility of USD 40 million from FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. Supporting the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector affected most by the pandemic, the funds are to be used towards the revival and growth of the Bank’s SME portfolio, in order to ensure lives and livelihoods are protected and new employment is created.

Nations Trust Bank’s business value proposition has a clear focus on enterprise development. Over the years, the Bank has introduced several strategic initiatives to support the SME sector through sharing of expertise, facilitating training programmes and mentoring businesses.

The Bank stated that it will focus its funding to local manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, value-added agriculture, women-led businesses, and export-oriented business which in turn will generate the much-needed foreign exchange flow into Sri Lanka and aid in building a resilient national economy.

Nations Trust Bank’s Director, Chief Executive Officer, Priyantha Talwatte said, “The facility extended by FMO will enable us to support the growth of our SME clients and to provide solutions which are relevant at each stage of the customer’s business lifecycle. It will contribute to narrowing the SME-financing gap and boosting financial inclusion, a goal shared by Nations Trust Bank and FMO. These funds will support the Bank’s own ‘Diriya’ programme which was floated to support the revival of business with the advent of the pandemic.”

“Our strong and long-standing relationship with FMO has made this facility possible and stands testament to Nations Trust Bank’s continuous ability to transact with international lenders to support local business rebuilding activity.” FMO has worked closely with Nations Trust Bank since 2004 and partnered to provide the Bank with access to long-term funding which has become more challenging due to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The ability to attract five-year funds would further strengthen the liquidity position of the Bank’s balance sheet while FMO’s long term credit appetite on Nations Trust Bank reflects the stability and strength of the Nations Trust Bank franchise. Qualifying for FMO funds also demonstrates that the Bank’s social and environmental criteria meet international standards” Talwatte added.

Marnix Monsfort, Director a.i. Financial Institutions said, “FMO is very pleased that we can once again engage with Nations Trust Bank to support them in their strategic journey of supporting SMEs. By contributing to further narrowing the SME-financing gap, Nations Trust Bank can and will boost financial inclusion to various underserved segments, one of the goals highly supported by FMO.



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Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan owned company to receive FAMI-QS certification

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Farmchemie has obtained FAMI-QS certification being the first Sri Lankan owned company certified with FAMI-QS. FAMI-QS stands for Feed Additive and pre-MIxture Quality System, which compromises the safety of animal feed and the quality of processed goods in accordance with European regulation no. 183/2005 on animal feed. Farmchemie is a BOI approved leading manufacturer and exporter of animal feed additives and nutritional supplements in Asia. Farmchemie is equipped with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility from Bühler, Switzerland to offer quality assured manufacturing services for world-renowned European brands as well as own brands under Farmstar. Farmchemie has already established their presence in numerous international markets such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia and Uganda. FAMI-QS will enable them to expand their markets including the European and USA.

“We are honoured to announce that Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan-owned company to be certified with FAMI-QS in combination with ISO 9001: 2015 and Good Manufacturing Practices certification for animal feeding. By attaining FAMI-QS, we are able to anticipate the expectations of our clients for safe, high-quality goods by lowering the related risk and enhancing the quality of onsite feeds via a supply chain that is properly guaranteed. For that Farmchemie implements measures for Feed Fraud and Feed Defense according to FAMI-QS supply chain integrity module V2. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our customers and suppliers for their continued support and dedication. We look forward to elevating the firm to new heights in the coming months and years, as our aims will always be centered on quality assurance and innovative manufacturing.” Managing Director Uditha Wanigasinghe stated.

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Exports Gold Award for Textrip

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Textrip Pvt Ltd, the export arm of the Elasto Group, was recently recognized, as the gold award winner for rubber and rubber-based products, medium scale category at the NCE Export Awards ceremony held recently in Colombo. The Chairman and Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera accepted the award at the gala event held at Shangri La Hotel. The national export awards ceremony, organized by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), recognizes and rewards Sri Lankan exporters on their performance in the international market.

“We always strive to manufacture high-quality rubber-based goods, using the latest technology, adhering to the highest international standards, and showcasing Sri Lanka on the global stage. I would like to thank our clients, locally and internationally for their continuous trust and my staff for their hard work and dedication. They are the pillars of our success,” Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera stated. Textrip products have obtained a number of national and international quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, CET, REACH and their products are designed to adhere to the ‘Wellness Wisdom’ theme. The company works with over 100 top sports and wellness brands and exports to more than 30 countries including European countries and the United States. TEXSTRETCH Progressive Exercise Resistance Bands is one of the most popular products of the company. The product is a great full-body workout solution for users of any level.

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Sri Lanka Tourism returns to Spanish market after pandemic

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Spain is one of the fastest recovery markets for Sri Lanka Tourism after the pandemic and participation in FITUR argues well for the much-needed exposure for Sri Lanka as an attractive tourism destination for Spanish-speaking countries, contributing in a substantive manner to its overall growth strategy. Sri Lanka Tourism made the presence with the 28 private sector companies at 43rd edition of FITUR International Travel Mart which was held from 18- 22 January 2023, Madrid, Spain. FITUR is the largest tourism event in the Spanish Market where all the sectors leisure, business and MICE tourism meet under one roof.

Sri Lanka Tourism stall was ceremonially opened by Mr.Chalaka Gajabahu ,Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Barcelona, Mr. Agustin Llana and representatives of the leading private sector members of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was able to attract high level of attention from the trade and travel visitors attended at the event. The Sri Lanka pavilion highlighted many aspects of its potential culture, beauty, Ayurveda and many more which Sri Lanka would offer as a tourism destination. Sri Lanka stand optimized the “So Sri Lanka” and “Visit Sri Lanka” vivid sights to attract the potential visitor segments. At the Sri Lanka pavilion, Ceylon tea was served for the visitors with a view of promoting Ceylon tea in the Spanish market.

On the sideline of the FITUR travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Burau officials participated at the events organized by the UNWTO. During the events, SLTPB officials met with the Mr.Harry Hwang , Director of Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO.As a result of discussions, Mr.Harry Hwang has shown the interest to hold the UNWTO Joint commission in Sri Lanka in 2024.

Meantime, the SLTPB and Sri Lanka Embassy of France also took steps to arrange Business Meetings, exclusive media interviews, Air Line meetings at the FITUR 2023. The Media gathering conducted during the fair created the great opportunity to highlight the updates on the destination and create awareness on the destination.

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