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Pathfinder and Vivekananda Foundation focus on relations between India and Sri Lanka

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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.



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Seylan Bank offers amazing discounts for Avurudu

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With Avurudu just around the corner, Seylan Bank PLC is offering amazing discounts to customers purchasing daily essentials, electronics, clothing, gifts, and more. The bank with a heart will celebrate the New Year with “Ratatama Super, Avurudu Offers with Seylan Cards” and “Seylan Tikiri – Season of Gifts and Laughter”.

The bank with a heart, commenced these exciting offers and promotions to provide the best Avurudu experience to its customers young and old, and to reward them for their continued loyalty to the bank, in the spirit of festivity.

“At Seylan Bank, we want to make your Avurudu an unforgettable experience,” said Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. “These two promotions underscore our customer-centric approach which focuses on providing products and services that enhance the overall customer experience and convenience, adding value to your experience with the Bank with a Heart.”

The Bank has partnered with leading supermarket chains on selected promotions; with Keells offering 30% off on fresh meat during the weekends, Cargills providing 20% off on total bills during selected weekends, Glomark offering 20% off on the total bill on every Sunday for a limited time, Laugfs Super providing 20% off on a range of goods on every Monday for a limited time, and Premasiri Supermarket offering 20% off on vegetables & 10% off on fruits on every Wednesday & Thursday during the promotion period.

 

 

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OPPO launches Avurudu song to spread seasonal cheer

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OPPO recently launched an Avurudu jingle ahead of the Sinhalese & Tamil New year. Sung by OPPO brand ambassador & The Voice coach Umaria Sinhawamsa, the song also features popular personalities including actor& singer Gayan Gunawardena and choreographer Ramod Malaka& his dance troupe, Cool Steps.

The visual for the song has been shot in a scenic village atmosphere & features a host of New Year traditions of great cultural significance. The video also features the newly launched fan-favorite OPPO F19 Pro which is on offer during the season. On the first day of sales alone, the F19 Pro recorded a 200% increase in sales compared to its predecessor F17 Pro.

CEO of OPPO Sri Lanka Bob Li said: “This project helped us to immerse into Sri Lankan culture better. In keeping with the spirit of the season, evolving & upgrading, OPPO has launched two concurrent promotions: ERABADU WASI from 2-13 April & OPPO SERVICE WASI from 5 – 18 April.”

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SLIM elects new president and EXCO at 51st AGM

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The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st AGM, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd president. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.

The AGM was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.

Thilanka currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:

SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970.

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