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President says Sri Lanka is proactive and pro-business

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Says potential investors can connect directly with policymakers at the highest level

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday that he and his government are deeply committed to maintaining policy stability and consistency within a stable macroeconomic environment and that the government of Sri Lanka is ‘proactive and pro-business’.

“We will look very favourably upon investments that can have a transformative impact on our economy as well as our national profile, and we will do our utmost to create an enabling environment for the success of such investments.”

The President made these remarks at the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021 where more than 1,000 potential investors had a virtual call with Sri Lankan leaders and policymakers.

“Our legal and regulatory frameworks are being refined to ensure greater responsiveness, transparency, and security for investors. Unnecessary bureaucratic red tape is being removed and procedures are being streamlined to ensure greater ease of doing business in Sri Lanka,” the President said.

He further said: “Today’s event takes a holistic view of the many and varied investment opportunities Sri Lanka offers across all sectors of its economy. It brings together the Board of Investment, Colombo Stock Exchange and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, alongside key policymakers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. This will encourage robust dialogue and information sharing about our investment environment, and it will highlight opportunities for direct investments as well as opportunities in capital markets and debt markets.”

“This investment forum comes at an important time for Sri Lanka. My Government has ambitious plans to unleash a decade of transformational and rapid economic growth to double our national output from its current level to 8,000 dollars GDP per capita by 2030.”

“Our unique geo-strategic position, political stability, robust institutions and social infrastructure, educated and capable workforce, and high quality of life are some of Sri Lanka’s current strengths. We will leverage on these to set the platform for our growth target.”

“In addition, significant improvements to our infrastructure are continuously being made. These include increasing power generation from renewable sources, improving connectivity through upgrading of road and rail networks, and further expansion and improvements to our ports that will all facilitate our development drive.”

“As President of Sri Lanka, I am determined to see these changes through and to further improve our already welcoming environment for investment. There are significant opportunities across many economic sectors in Sri Lanka that can provide tremendous returns to foreign and local investors alike. With its geostrategic location only a few hours away by air from major global hubs, Sri Lanka is one of the best-connected nations in all of South Asia. The commercial capital, Colombo, is one of the most attractive and liveable cities in the region.”

“The many opportunities this city affords will soon be greatly enhanced by the Colombo Port City, a new cityscape that will feature world class residential, commercial, social and entertainment facilities. Our vision is to make the Port City a key service hub for one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Its residents will have all the facilities they need to do productive work, while enjoying a very high quality of life in a vibrant tropical beachside environment that fuses the best of both old and new.”

“You will be able to connect directly with policymakers at the highest level, as well as technical experts, project owners, and potential partners who can support your investment ambitions in Sri Lanka,” the President said.



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SLIIT Business School hosts first International Conference on Sustainable and Digital Business 2022

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SLIIT Business School conducted the first-ever International Conference on Sustainable and Digital Business 2022 (ICSDB) on 1st and 2nd December. The Conference presented ICSDB Excellence Awards to selected winners, recognizing distinct sustainable and digital business initiatives.

Keynote speakers at the event included Professor John Bessant, Emeritus Professor of Exeter University, Professor Jaideep Prabhu of the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge and Professor Muthu De Silva of Birkbeck, University of London. The main address on the second day of the conference was delivered by Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The ICSDB Excellence Awards 2022, recognized Sri Lankan enterprises who had initiated digital business initiatives, and were established as beneficial to various stakeholders under the ICSDB Index criteria of Ingenuity, Continuity, Scope, Deployment and Benefits. The ICSD Excellence Awards presented accolades under Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. An eminent group of judges including practicing managers from industries, representatives of industry bodies, and academics comprised the panel to select the winners.

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USAID launch Island Plastic Challenge to help consumer goods companies address plastic waste

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Island Climate Initiative

In support of the Ministry of Environment’s policy on plastic waste reduction, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) partner, Island Climate Initiative (ICI) under USAID’s global Clean Cities Blue Ocean Program, is calling on innovators around the world to design solutions to help Sri Lanka’s leading consumer goods companies reduce their plastic footprint.

Successful applicants whose solutions best address consumer goods companies’ top single-use plastic challenges will get the opportunity to pitch their technology to leading companies at a solution showcase that will be held in early 2023. Winners’ solutions may be implemented contributing to global efforts to reduce the more than eleven million tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year. The online challenge platform is now publicly open for applications at www.islandplasticchallenge.com. Innovators and start-ups, both local and overseas, are all invited to apply.

“USAID strongly believes that successful development initiatives are achieved through partnerships and collaboration. We look forward to working with Island Climate Initiative as they identify and facilitate the piloting of viable and scalable solutions to change the way we produce, consume, and manage plastic packaging waste to stem the tide of ocean plastic pollution.,” said USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Economic Growth Advisor Mark Peters.

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Cinnamon Hotels inks MoU with Skills for inclusive growth

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Cinnamon Hotel Management Ltd. (CHML) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Government-funded Skills for Inclusive Growth Program (S4IG), managed by Palladium International Group, to achieve several strategic results through cooperation recently signed at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. S4IG is a program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in accordance with the terms of a subsidiary agreement signed on March 31, 2022, between DFAT and the Sri Lankan State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Training, Research, and Innovation.

The MoU sets out the terms on which S4IG will plan and implement specified activities to support the reality TV show Supreme Chef Season 03. It is an exciting collaboration between the Australian Government’s aid program and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training. The intervention’s goal is to promote the hospitality industry, specifically cooking, as a viable career option for Sri Lankans. Following the success of seasons 1 and 2, this season is being delivered on a national scale. Through food experiences and culinary art challenges, the season brings together government agencies and private training institutes to support industry and highlight tourism in the country and specifically to address chronic skills shortage in kitchen.

By signing the MoU, CHML acts as the hospitality partner in providing a location for filming related to the show and assisting with the wider goals of the show, mainly to promote the local destinations and regional food specialties as well as provide internship and employment opportunities to the public. CHML will provide six-month internship opportunities for on-the-job training for the top 20 contestants of Supreme Chef Season 3, with the possibility of long-term employment at the end of the internship, and also one year of guaranteed employment for the top three female contestants of Supreme Chef Season 3. The future of the hospitality industry and, indeed, the economy depends on the quality of its human capital, and this partnership aims to elevate the skills and knowledge of the youth. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, as a hospitality trendsetter, intends to remain at the forefront of improving and upskilling the industry where possible, and this partnership with S4IG is one such shining example.

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