Webinar on ” Opening of Sri Lanka and the Revival of the Hospitality Industry” organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany together with the German Travel Association (DRV) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau ( SLTPB ) was held on 24 February 2022 with the participation of a large number of German travel agents and out-bound tour operators.
Kicking off the webinar, Manori Unambuwe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany welcomed the participants and highlighted Sri Lanka’s readiness to welcome tourists and the GoSL’s successful vaccine drive and increasing emphasis and attention to the development and revival of the Tourism Industry. She further requested for the active role of German out-bound tour operators and travel agents to assist the government’s efforts for the sustenance of the industry.
Addressing the webinar, Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association welcomed Sri Lanka’s prompt actions to “open Sri Lanka fully again ” as one of the first Asian destinations to do so, especially in the context of evolving COVID situation across the globe and congratulated GoSL on its endured and far-sighted decision making to open the doors for the tourism industry.
Further, he shared his experience on time spent in Sri Lanka during one of DRV’s official tour in 2019, drawing fond memories in some of the UNESCO world heritage sites. He further highlighted the increasing contribution of German tourists to Sri Lanka’s tourisms industry. It was also highlighted the fact that as Sri Lanka is not categorized as a ” High Risk Country ” by Germany so far, the time has come for German travellers to experience the nature, culture, history and plethora of authentic culinary wonders in the South Asian island. The DRV President ensured continued assistance to encourage German tourists to visit Sri Lanka.
Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau shared insights into Sri Lanka’s resolve to opening of the Tourism Industry again and latest information on simplified health protocols and mechanisms in place to ensure the safety and well-being of every individual tourist travelling to Sri Lanka.
Fernando also highlighted Sri Lanka’s strong credentials in the global scale as one of the best and unique wellness tourist hotspots and shared information on recent travel awards and worldwide recognition for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector as a highly professional industry.
The Chairperson elaborated on the diversity of Sri Lanka and its rich intangible cultural heritage and unperturbed wilderness, animal and plant life, biodiversity, colossal marine environment and culture of water sports.
Fernando made special remarks on Sri Lanka’s readiness to launch Global Communication Campaign 2021 – 2025 including in Germany to promote Sri Lanka as a destination in the eyes of German speaking tourism segment soon.
Dushan Wickramasuriya, Director Marketing of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau shared a comprehensive analysis on recent tourism trends and market strategy to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka in the current context.
Addressing the gathering, Ashok Pathirage, Chairman, Srilankan Airlines shared insights on the direct connectivity from Frankfurt to Colombo and on the carriers’ plans to enter into new interlining facility agreements with reputed Airlines in the European region.
Former President & Senior Committee Member of theSri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), Mr.M. Shanthikumar, President of the Tourism HoteliersAssociation of Sri Lanka (THASL) and Mr. Justin Karandawala, Immediate Past President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Tourism (ASMET) spoke at the webinar, emphasising on the long-standing relationship between Sri Lanka and German tourists and requested their continued support.
Ms. Verena Grossjohann, Head of Events, Trainings, Marketing of the DRV Service GmbH moderated the webinar enabling travel agents with their clarifications and better understanding of the current landscape in Sri Lanka for tourism.
Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions
Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.
The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.
The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.
Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.
The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.
CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.
• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.
• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.
• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.
• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.
• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.
• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.
• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.
The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.
CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT
CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.
CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.
Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”
In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.
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