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Retailers’ Association calls for support to navigate demanding times

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Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) has issued a clarion call for support towards the industry and for a consultative approach when taking national lockdown decisions – especially at short notice, as the sector has witnessed mounting multi-million-rupee losses overnight due to ad-hoc measures. While positively endorsing the government’s drive to curb the COVID spread and assuring of their ongoing support, SLRA stresses that implementation of COVID controls should not affect the continuity of the retail sector.

SLRA is a dominant grouping in Sri Lanka’s Organised Retail Sector (ORS), consisting of last mile retailers such as the FMCG vendors, supermarkets, clothing, fashion & jewelry, household & consumer durables, footwear & accessories, e-commerce, healthcare & wellness, entertainment, restaurants and fast-food sellers, and shelter & housing providers.

ORS plays a significant role as a collective voice within the Sri Lankan market, SMEs and employment provision. It accounts for around one-third of the GDP and over 15% of employment in the country. Vibrant retail is an essential part in the robustness of the Sri Lankan economy since the retail sector value chains’ trickle-down effects extend to the very grassroots of the supply chains such as farmers, livestock breeders and SME suppliers.

During a virtual webinar organized by the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association on June 25th, representatives of SLRA firmly stated that the ORS is not a mere sub sector but an entire ecosystem of its own in the country, spreading out to multiple streams of sub economic strata, thus impacting on the very foundations of the country’s socio-economic makeup.

Hussain Sadique, Founder / President of SLRA emphasized on the importance of retail ecosystem’s functioning. “Modern retail has come to stay in Sri Lanka. The retail industry contributes billions to the Sri Lankan economy and supports nearly one million direct jobs and many more indirectly. This sector is a major system for Sri Lanka’s youth employment and helps addressing the burden of youth unemployment. It is also a key industry on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. The ORS shoulders the last mile delivery burden of essentials and food during the lockdown. ORS’ economic significance is not only being the closest touchpoint system to Sri Lankan customers but also its impact in B2B levels. Annually ORS invests multi-billion-rupees for new infrastructure and pays significant property rental fees for premium high-street retail space that become a major revenue of the Sri Lankan real estate business.

Therefore, this is the time that the support of the government to ORS is to be channeled. By investing to preserve this sector now, far worse social consequences would be prevented later on”, he stated.

“We are collectively calling for support measures that will enable the ORS to weather the worst of the crisis and be in a position to make a meaningful contribution towards economic recovery. The lockdowns implemented without consulting ORS has a very negative impact on it. No other country closes retail systems and supermarkets during a COVID lockdown but implement them along with controls such as self-distancing. Due to non-consulted lockdown announcements, perishable stocks in ORS are destroyed overnight with multi-million-rupee losses and affecting the suppliers while retailers’ staff retention and turnover too has become very problematic. Demand in retail sub sectors such as ‘consumer durables’ has increased since more consumers are now staying at or working from home and lack of consultation with ORS in lockdowns hampers their deliveries too. Therefore, keeping consumer durables outlets open is vital for the customers as well. All these would operate much better if there are wider consultations with ORS”, Sadique further added.

 



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Sri Lanka Tourism introduces e-learning platform for all SLTDA registered tourist guides.

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As an initiative to uplift the reviving tourism industry in the country, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) have introduced the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform to all registered guides to enhance their knowledge and skills.

The launch of the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform took place this week under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, Secretary of the Ministry S. Hettiarachchi and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando.

“Tourist guides play an important role in our tourism sector as they spend a lot of time with visitors from arrival to departure. It is important that our guides stay updated on their professional/technical knowledge and I hope this e-learning platform by Sri Lanka Tourism will help them enhance their knowledge and skills” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando shared while the Minister congratulated all the officials who were involved in bringing this initiative to reality.

Knowledge improvement, obtaining expertise knowledge from veterans, develop active participation with guests, improve the link between Tourism institutions & guides are some key objectives of this e-learning platform.

If you are a registered guide with SLTDA, you can now sign up on https://sltda.gov.lk/e-learning/login and avail of the online courses.

A certificate of completion will be given at the end of the course from SLTDA and SLITHM.

 

 

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Impact of Climate Change on marine and fresh water resources and combating water pollution

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Trilateral virtual dialogue among Pathfinder Foundation, Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence

The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has initiated a trilateral dialogue involving Sri Lanka, India and the Russian Federation to discuss issues of contemporary relevance. The first trilateral dialogue will be held to day 4:30 PM SLST on the “Impact of Climate Change on Marine and Fresh Water Resources and Combating Water Pollution: Best Practices from Russia, Sri Lanka and India”.

For this dialogue, Pathfinder Foundation will be partnering with Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence.

The distinguished panellists for the webinar are, Ambassador GlebIvashentsov, Vice President, Russian International Affairs Council, Ambassador (Retd.) Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman Pathfinder Foundation, Ambassador. IFS(Retd.) Rajiv Kumar Bhatia, Member Governing Council, The Asian Confluence and Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House,Dr. Anastasia Likhacheva, Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Higher Schoolof Economics, Dr. B. V. R. Punyawardena, Chairman, National Steering Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Governmentof Sri Lanka, Dr. Fraddry D’Souza, Area ConvenerandFellow, The Coastal Ecology & Marine Resources Centre, TERI Goa,India , Dr. Konstantin Zgurovsky, Senior Advisor, Marine Programme, WWF Russia, Mr. Sarath Premalal, Retired Director General of Meteorology of Sri Lanka and Prof. Vinay Kumar Dadhwal, Director, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Professor Indira Gandhi Chair, National Institute of Advanced Studies, India

Those who are interested in participating may kindly register at the following link; https://bit.ly/3AZbYAN Program details are available at https://bit.ly/3zdUkY3 . The event will also be live streamed on the PF Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pathfinderfoundation/

 

 

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Doc990 and MyDoctor partner SLVA to extend accessible veterinary services islandwide

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Sri Lanka’s premier digital health solutions service providers, Doc990 and MyDoctor are now enabling customers to access online veterinary services island-wide in partnership with the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association.

The national professional body serving and representing the interests of the veterinary profession in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association (SLVA), is dedicated to providing continued excellence within the profession of animal medicine and the provision of outstanding care for all animals while also actively creating public awareness of the contribution of veterinarians island-wide.

This collaborative effort with Doc990 and MyDoctor will bring pet owners, owners of farm animals and good Samaritans the ability to access remote video consultations with leading, specialist veterinarians of their choosing, without the hassle of physically entering hospital waiting rooms, transporting animals etc. This timely, contactless service will not only be convenient but also a relief to pet owners and caretakers in the backdrop of travel restrictions as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.

Customers can engage in video consultations with their chosen vet by downloading the Doc990 mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Through its widening network of hospitals and medical services, Doc990 strives to make health care accessible and convenient for all Sri Lankans.

 

 

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