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PM Mahinda Rajapaksa visits Hambantota International Port  

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was on a multi-faceted inspection tour of the Hambantota International Port (HIP) to appraise the ongoing development projects at the port.

Johnson Liu, CEO of Hambantota International Port Group, giving a grand welcome to the Prime Minister and his delegation said “it is my sincere pleasure to have Honorable Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at this special event. Today, we witness the progress and success of the port, which was developed under your guidance and visionary leadership, and this port now serves as a beacon light for the economic development of the southern region of Sri Lanka.”

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Qi Zhenhong, Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka and Ministers G L Pieris, Chamal Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa.  The PM’s visit also coincided with the port achieving the milestone of 500,000 RORO vehicles handled in 2021, for which he participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The visit included the laying of the foundation stone for the port’s first Bonded Warehouse Project, after which the Prime Minister was accompanied by the port team to inspect the construction sites of plants being set up by the Xinji Shenzhen Group and Ceylon Tire Manufacturing Company. The PM also inspected the slope protection project initiated by the port to stabilise the area for the tire manufacturing facility, which is a US$ 300 million investment.  The project, being developed on 55.8 hectares of land which includes scope for an additional 16 acres for its second phase, has a commitment to export 30,000 container units annually, and is expected to create more than 3000 job opportunities.  The US$ 15 million plug and play park in park facility by the Xinji Shenzhen Group, a high-tech facility to provide ‘one stop’ services to light industries, is being built on 3.07 hectares of land and will create approximately 500 jobs.

The Prime Minister and his delegation were given a brief introduction to the Master Plan for the HIP Industrial Park by CEO Johnson Liu.  The delegates were briefed on the new Hope Village project being established by the port to benefit surrounding communities which will help develop livelihoods in animal husbandry and agriculture.  HIPG’s vision is to inspire positive change and empower people and communities while protecting the environment and people to create a sustainably powered future. In line with that, HIP has carried out 43 CSR projects since 2018, with more than Rs. 80 million donated for the upliftment of local communities.

The tour ended at an event held on the 12th floor of the Hambantota Maritime Center where COO of HIPG Tissa Wickramasinghe presented the PM with a project report on all the development activities at the Hambantota International Port.

The Logistics Warehouse facility which is being built by Hambantota Port and Logistics Services Pvt. Ltd., the warehousing arm of the Colombo Logistics Group to store bagged cargo, is being developed on a land area of approximately 1 hectare. The Colombo Logistics Group, the first local investor for warehousing in HIP, has 14 years of experience in developing large scale ventures, acquiring a reputation for fast paced expansion in the country’s logistics sector.

The new warehousing facility once completed will spur HIP’s plans to develop fertilizer distribution both locally and for transshipment.

The port was able to increase RORO (roll on-roll off) volumes this year by introducing effective new strategies and the formation of partnerships with new RORO lines to bring transshipment cargo via HIP.  The innovative approach resulted in the 500,000 units of small and large vehicles handled in 2021, amidst continuing challenges faced by the pandemic. The vehicles transshipped are mainly manufactured in India, Thailand, Japan and Korea and destined for Africa, the Middle East, Far East and South America.

Elaborating on the port’s success model, CEO Johnson Liu added, “Hambantota International Port with its mission to become a world-class seaport, is now operating across a number of business sectors not limited to RORO, Bulk and General Cargo. As per Sri Lanka Government requirements, the SLPA, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Police and Sri Lanka Customs operate within the port, overseeing its overall security. We at HIPG put in place a blue print titled ‘HIP Speed’ which is specifically designed to clear bottlenecks and build processes that do not stand in the way of implementing projects on time. Our deadline for completion of projects is much tighter due to this, which has helped us that much more to bring suitable investment to the port.  We are ably supported now by two government agencies, the Board of Investment and the Industrial Development Board, who have offices at the Hambantota Maritime Center situated within the port. This would help us to smoothen the initial investment and implementation process and in turn build confidence among those who want to partner us in projects.”

Operationally the port has been fast tracking processes not only for its short-term needs, but looking to the future in terms of what infrastructure will be required to position port activity in the various sectors, for fast development under HIP Speed. The masterplan for the port is being followed meticulously and HIP is now in the process of developing upstream and downstream supply chains for the smooth operation of its industrial zone.

Until now, 42 enterprises have signed agreements with HIPG to enter the Industrial Park, of which 10 projects have already commenced construction. 8 new projects are to be signed soon, while another 15 projects with key potential are in the pipeline.  The Hambantota port will be a symbol of the long-term friendship between Sri Lanka and China, and the CEO of HIPG says the China Merchants Group will continue to contribute to the economic development of the Hambantota region.



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Wing Commander (Retd.) D. Pradeep S. Kannangara elected president, Industrial Security Foundation

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The Industrial Security Foundation (ISF) which acts as the sole organization in Sri Lanka to represent the Private Security industry having incorporated by an Act passed in the Parliament, Act No. 51 of 1999, elected Wing Commander (Retd.) Pradeep Kannangara as its President for the years 2022/2023 at its 30th annual General Meeting which was held at the PIM Auditorium in Borella. Wing Commander Pradeep Kannangara was appointed President while 14 other members were appointed to the Executive Committee, strengthening the ISF in order to drive and uplift the standards of the private security industry in Sri Lanka.

He has served on the ExCo consecutively since 2012 under four different presidents where he held the positions of Senior Vice President during the last three consecutive years. He has also been a committed member of the ISF and was awarded prestigious coveted FISF title due to his many valuable contributions to the organization and the Private Security Industry in Sri Lanka in 2012.

Wing Commander Kannangara’s journey into private security began after a successful career in the Sri Lanka Air Force for over 24 years where he served in many capacities finally being the Officer Commanding of the Special Air Borne Force. A recipient of the Ranasura Padakkama (RSP) Gallantry award for his bravery, sacrifices and service to the nation by the President of the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1990. He holds a Master’s in business management from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia too and serves as a Board Director in AB Securitas (Private) Limited in Sri Lanka and AB Securitas Bangladesh Limited.

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Kitchen & Bedroom reaffirms its partnership with Häfele Sri Lanka

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(L-R) Pawan Singh- General Manager Sales & Marketing at Hafele Sri Lanka, Jurgen Wolf- Managing Director Hafele South Asia, Dr. Sacquaff- Group CEO Kitchen & Bedroom, and Manish Mahajan, Director Sales Hafele South Asia

Kitchen & Bedroom, a name synonymous in the interior designing and furniture sector in the country recently celebrated its long-standing partnership with Häfele Sri Lanka during the latter’s 12th year anniversary celebratory event, reaffirming its ambitious plans to further strengthen and explore the numerous opportunities available here.

Häfele Sri Lanka, part of Häfele India which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hafele Global network, is a technology partner for various projects and initiatives of Kitchen & Bedroom. Both the companies operate in the interior design space, sharing their cumulative knowledge and expertise to provide extensive and personalized solutions catering to domestic requirements.

‘We take great pride in our association with Häfele Sri Lanka having exchanged and collaborated on many projects both commercial and household. We share similar values such as providing high quality, sustainable, functional and customized solutions to our customers, and most importantly to guide them through every aspect and step of the project and how best we could bring out their desired design,’ said Dr. Sacquaff, Kitchen & Bedroom Group CEO.

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DSI strengthens its islandwide presence with three new showrooms

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Amid the prevailing economic hardships faced by Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s premier footwear brand DSI recently expanded its islandwide presence in the country with the opening of three new showrooms in Kahawatta, Akuressa, and Chavakachcheri, with the aim of offering greater access to its diversified product range to a wider customer base.

Gracing the special occasion, the showrooms were declared open by D. Samson & Sons (Pvt.) Ltd. Managing Director Thusitha Rajapaksa, in the presence of Director Asanka Rajapaksa, General Manager Pradeep Samarathunga, National Sales Manager – Retail Sales Naleen Weerawardana, invitees, and well-wishers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Thusitha Rajapaksa stated: “We are excited about expanding DSI wings to three new locations. Despite the ongoing economic conditions of the country, we took a call to take a proactive measure to expand our islandwide presence. While it has been a challenge, the commitment and hard work of our team has made it possible to serve our loyal customers better, and we are confident that we will be able to continue these efforts in the future as well.”

DSI is renowned for its well-trained staff who offer exceptional customer service. The three new DSI showrooms prioritize providing a unique service and customer support to make purchasing further convenient for the customer.

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