The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) and Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a leading think tank in India, conducted a webinar with virtual participation of several experts from both countries on the themes ‘Regional and Geopolitical Environment’ and ‘Indo-Lanka Trade & Economic Relations’.
The two delegations were headed by Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman, Pathfinder Foundation and Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director-Vivekananda International Foundation. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India addressed the subject of Indo-Lanka trade and economic relations, whilst Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage, Secretary-Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Anil Wadhwa, former Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs of India provided their personal perspectives on regional geopolitics.
During the session on trade and economic relations, given the dynamics of geopolitics in the Indian Ocean Region, the need for a rules-based framework following the principle of non-reciprocity in the interest of a smaller economies within an asymmetric system was brought forth. Increasing people-to-people contacts taking advantage of the island’s close proximity to South India and the number of favourable factors existing to build a good foundation for trade between the two countries was stressed on. The Indo Lanka Free Trade Agreement of 2000 was also discussed with its unrealized potential as well as impediments. Export, investment, training and technology transfer, creation of special economic zones, improvement in connectivity and logistics and electrical grid connectivity were pointed out as areas to focus on for enhancing economic relations between the two nations. It was noted that Indian investment in the island has increased considerably during the past few years, whilst Sri Lankan businesses too have begun operations in India. The Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA) that seeks to add to the existing free trade agreement between the two nations was noted as a positive venture for both parties after necessary refinement. The discussion that followed brought out concerns related to public mistrust of the free trade agreements in general and how to overcome this issue by increasing transparency. The fisheries issue in the Palk Strait area that adversely affect bilateral relations and economic interests of the island was considered as an issue that need to be resolved through determined action and negotiation.
The session on the regional geopolitical environment focused on how the Covid-19 pandemic has created a new world order where Sri Lanka, although a smaller nation, has been successful is meeting challenges. In an environment where the role of international organizations such as the WHO are questioned, two new specific areas have emerged – food security and medical security. In this respect, attention was drawn to the fact that India gifted large quantities of medical supplies, which has led to a novel phenomenon of ‘health diplomacy’. The Sri Lankan public’s tendency to mistrust its larger neighbour was considered as the principal obstacle to improving relations between the neighbouring countries.
The mistrust coupled with prevailing ignorance of each other has prevented better understanding between the populations of the two countries. The meeting also focused its attention on the importance of the Indian Ocean for global economic wellbeing and discussed aspects relating to militarization of the Indian Ocean.
New Administration building at Horana EPZ opened
The BOI’s Horana Export Processing Zone ceremonially opened its 46 million-rupee new administrative building recently with BOI DG Sanjaya Mohottala as chief guest. The event was attended by a large number of investors, government officials and the senior BOI officials, the BOI announced.
Mohottala said on this occasion that “our biggest challenge is to maintain the GDP rate at 6% for the next 10 years with the BOI charged with the responsibility of uplifting the economy and attracting Foreign Direct Investment.
“We need to provide necessary infrastructure facilities and a healthy investment climate with a more proactive rather than reactive role,” he said.
He announced that steps are being taken to develop thrust sectors for investment such as pharmaceuticals, agricultural processing, ICT, aquaculture and rubber etc. Also the BOI was responsible for providing investors with an efficient service.
Horana Export processing Zone was established in 1999 on 390 acres of which 181 acres is industrial land. The infrastructure provided include water, processing of waste water and electricity, making the zome attractive to investors.
Zone companies have generated 3,375 direct employment opportunities and twice that number of indirect jobs with total export revenue of Rs 8.6 billion earned in 2019.
There are 21 enterprises in commercial operation at the Horana EPZ involved in the manufacture of apparel & accessories, food, wooden products, consumer goods, steel, aluminum and plastic products.
GPV Lanka awarded SLS 1672: 2020 COVID-19 Safety Management System
GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., recently received the Certificate of Conformity – SLS 1672:2020 COVID -19 Safety Management System from the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI).
This confirms the company’s unparalleled commitment towards ensuring health and safety measures among its workforce and all stakeholders engaged in its day-to-day operations.
Preparations to face the pandemic’s consequences within a short time is a noteworthy aspect of the organisation. Furthermore, this qualification will support to keep production geared up to serve overseas customers with minimum hindrance.
GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., has become the first Sri Lankan Company into electronics manufacturing to receive this certification. GPV was founded in Denmark in 1961 and is today one of Europe’s leading electronics manufacturers. GPV is a global EMS-partner providing complex electronics, cable-harness, mechatronics and box-build solutions including design and engineering activities to customers worldwide within high mix/low-medium volume.
GPV generates a revenue at about USD 460 million with around 3,700 employees and has production sites across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
GPV Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd has been in the industry in Sri Lanka for more than 30 years and today it has 1,022 employees including 45 electronic engineers with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Lankan company offers Chinese language services
In a global climate where China has established its standing as the second largest and fastest growing economy in the world, the extent of the country’s scale and integration has meant that proficiency in Chinese has become a coveted asset.
Hàny? Services -a Sri Lanka-based Chinese content creation, translation, and interpretation company- has launched with a wide portfolio of professional Chinese language services to fulfil the growing interest in investing in this highly lucrative market.
“The company, with its vast global network of qualified Chinese linguists, delivers translation service excellence for any industry, where content is produced such that the client’s brand message is effectively conveyed without the loss of style, tone or context. The language service provider’s scope of services in this regard include document and website translations, interpretation, proofreading, voice-over services, and video subtitling, the SL company said in a news release.
“Additionally, clients of Hàny? Services stand to gain a strong competitive advantage in their respective sectors by having tailor-made content created that will best target the Chinese market accurately, ensuring that every message communicated is localized persuasively.”
The company’s team of seasoned Mandarin translators and writers are experienced in Chinese content writing, creation of localized marketing collateral, website localization and translation, and video creation, helping businesses find their distinctive voice and share their brand story through exceptional content, the release said.
The service also offers greater insight into Chinese business culture and etiquette, a vital asset for those looking to do business with or in China. Here too, Hàny? Services offers training on Chinese business language and culture that will help earn clients’ trust through the ability to communicate and negotiate better; paving the way for more successful agreements and business deals, it added.
Recently the agency launched Sri Lanka’s first ‘Mandarin Corner’ -an interactive initiative to encourage Lankans from across the island to learn, practise, and network in Mandarin with native speakers, students, and others. communication overall, the release said.
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