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Pakistan to help boost local pharmaceuticals manufacturing

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The Pakistani delegation donated a stock of chronic care pharmaceuticals from the people of Pakistan to State Minister (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana, M.P. for the people of Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (SLPMA) facilitated a bilateral meeting on the February 24 with visiting representatives of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA). The meeting was presided over by (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana, M.P., State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals and accompanied by Rohitha Uduwawla, Secretary to the Ministry and Dr. Lakshitha Rajakaruna. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the first state visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka.

The first bilateral meeting between pharmaceutical manufacturers of the two countries focused on mutually beneficial proposals for both nations to leverage on opportunities provided by each for the other. State Minister Jayasumana requested the Pakistani pharmaceutical manufacturers to share their experience in developing Pakistan’s local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. The State Minister also invited the PPMA to set up joint ventures with local pharmaceutical companies to manufacture complex molecules in Sri Lanka, in order to benefit from the government’s drive to increase local pharmaceutical manufacturing to 50% of country’s requirement by 2025, where Sri Lankan pharmaceutical manufacturers will have to manufacture at least 350+ pharmaceuticals locally.

Responding to the invitation by the State Minister, Mr. Kashif Sajjad Sheikh, Head of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Delegation promised to share the best practices and technical knowhow with the SLPMA. He also invited the State Minister and SLPMA to visit Pakistan to make a Road Show on the Opportunities for Pharmaceutical manufacturing in Sri Lanka and enter in to MOUs with prospective Pakistan companies, which will be facilitated by PPMA. Elaborating further, Mr. Kashif stated that it is a good sign that Sri Lankan government policies and the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority are supporting local manufacturing. He also emphasized the importance of extending the present buyback policy of government for new products to be developed in the future, which will be a definite boost for local manufacturers.

The SLPMA emphasized on the importance of the Pakistani pharma story for local policy makers, especially in learning how the Pakistani government moved towards formulating a long term policy and incentivised the private sector towards local manufacturing. Currently producing over 93 drugs providing 15% of the local requirement of pharmaceuticals, the SLPMA pointed out that synergy between the two chambers will result in crucial technical transfers from Pakistan to Sri Lanka allowing the local industry to benefit from the years of research and development by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association. The SLPMA is hoping to achieve 50% production of local pharmaceutical requirements by 2025, and a target of US$ 1 Billion per year in exports by 2030. SLPMA was represented by Mr. Sanjaya Jayaratna (President), Mr. Kalana Hewamallika (Vice President), Executive Committee Members Mr. Viraj Manatunga and Mr. Murtaza Esufally.

Discussing long term opportunities to work together, the Sri Lankan delegation invited Pakistan to relocate its pharma export centers in Sri Lanka, both for its strategic location globally and also because Sri Lanka being one of Pakistan’s largest pharmaceuticals export markets. The Sri Lankan delegation accepted the invite of PPMA to visit Pakistan to conduct a Road Show and experience the success story of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry, which are going to be key important factors to the development of Sri Lankan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Sector.

Marking the historic event, the Pakistani delegation donated a stock of chronic care pharmaceuticals worth approximately LKR 18 mn to Hon. (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana, M.P., State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals and Mr. Rohitha Uduwawla.



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HNB joins CBSL to promote ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign in Kandy

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HNB PLC once again joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage the public in the Kandy district towards a cashless payment ecosystem.

HNB, together with other financial institutions and telecommunication partners, participated in the day-long event held at the Kandy City Center. The bank raised awareness regarding its LANKAQR integrated HNB SOLO payment app while onboarding merchants during the promotional campaign.

“During the early stages of the pandemic we witnessed many of our customers and members of the public seamlessly adopt our cashless and contactless payment app HNB SOLO. With COVID and the subsequent launch of the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign the number of users of these types of systems have increased exponentially.

“Given that the mutual vision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and HNB is for a financially and technologically empowered Sri Lanka, HNB is proud to serve as an enthusiastic partner to roll out LANKAQR island-wide. The fact that we now have merchants in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka making this shift is another major milestone in this digitalization journey,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

 

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ComBank’s ATM network sets new records for cash dispensed during festive season

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The automated teller machine (ATM) network of Commercial Bank of Ceylon dispensed a record Rs 8.818 billion on 9th and 10th April 2021, shattering the previous records for the highest and second highest cash disbursements for a 24-hour period, as Sri Lanka’s leading private bank facilitated the celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The disbursements of Rs 4.498 billion on April 9 and Rs 4.320 billion on the following day represented a substantial increase over the single-day values recorded in previous years.

In total, Commercial Bank dispensed Rs 41.748 billion via its ATM network between 1st and 15th April 2021 at an average of Rs 2.783 billion per day, reaffirming the indispensable role it plays in the lives of Sri Lankans, as well as the reliability and robustness of the network. On seven of these 15 days the network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, and on five days disbursements exceeded Rs 3 billion a day, the Bank said.

Comprising of 890 ATMs, the network processed 2.434 million transactions over the 15 days at an average of 168,988 transactions a day, while on 9th April, the number of transactions processed totalled 233,990 at an average of 9,749 transactions per hour or 162 transactions per minute.

The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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‘Ceylinco VIP Cyber Tharu’ to showcase Sri Lankan talent

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Ceylinco General Insurance has announced an online competition with a novel concept to showcase Sri Lankan talent by providing a platform for them with the opportunity to win handsome cash prizes.

“This time, our effort is to organize an online competition that provides an opportunity for Sri Lankan people to display their talent and also to identify hidden talents whilst rewarding them. There will be five overall winners whose prize money will be over Rs. 1 million and each category winner will get Rs 100,000/-. Ten randomly picked voters too will receive handsome cash awards,” said Patrick Alwis, chairman CEO of Ceylinco General Insurance.

The guidelines and the criteria of the competition were announced recently through a dedicated website and other social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, twitter, You Tube as well as LinkedIn. Contestants can perform under five categories, namely, singing, dancing, instrumental performances, fashion modelling and funny videos / Standup comedy. Individuals over 18 years could perform under the individual category whilst the group category will have no age limit.

Under the group category either families or a group of friends could take part. Each entry will have to be specially recorded for this competition. Prior to recording the performance, they should download the image of the logo and have it displayed prominently in the background. Performances could be recorded using a smart phone or a video cam.

 

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