Securing LKR 7.5 billion term loan facility from U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved a USD 40 Million (Rs. 7.5 Billion) term loan facility to SDB bank in a bid to promote financial inclusion, resulting in more support to SMEs, particularly female-owned Small and Medium Enterprises. This comes as part of the financing recently approved by the DFC board to advance development in emerging markets of African, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Indo-pacific, and Latin American regions.
United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is a U.S. Development Bank specializing in providing financial support to private sector partners in developing markets. Promoting financial support to SMEs and women entrepreneurs in these markets is a key focus area for the bank. SDB bank was selected for the loan primarily due to its innovative business model that takes a progressive approach to development, with an emphasis on financial empowerment and SME development. In fact, 40% of the loan facility is reserved exclusively for women with the remaining 60% being allocated to SMEs in general. The bank’s commitment to these forward-looking policies is evident in their specialized products for female-owned SMEs which include Uththamavi, a special investment scheme for women and a general SME loan offering.
The investment loan approval granted by DFC comes at a critical time and is the first in over 7 years. The loan also comes with a series of other value additions including a Capacity Development Programme, which gives bank employees access to modern technology and know-how. This invaluable resource is then passed on to the customer, which enables them to grow their enterprise, as their hard work is directed by strategic thinking and professional business insight.
Speaking about this monumental opportunity, Thilak Piyadigama, CEO, SDB bank had this to say, “DFC is known for financing solutions which have helped overcome some of the most critical problems across the developing world. This loan comes at a time when the country needs financial support and gives us the chance to get our economy back on track faster. As always we will be giving the SME sector our full support. This loan will go a long way towards ensuring a more self-sufficient country, where hardworking Sri Lankans, who are the engine of progress, realise their financial ambitions. We are also focused on utilising these funds to create a new era of financial freedom and empowerment for female entrepreneurs”.
By uplifting SMEs and encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship SDB Bank continues to create opportunities all over the island. These initiatives create jobs, ensure local communities are uplifted, and enable Sri Lankans to enjoy a better quality of life by giving them access to higher wages. They help safeguard the rights of workers, the preservation of the environment, and continually support SME empowerment. This development is essential for the country to remain competitive on a global scale. These initiatives also guarantee critical investment happens at the right time for maximum developmental impact. SDB bank shares these developmental goals and is honoured to lead the way for a new era of progress and prosperity.
Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan owned company to receive FAMI-QS certification
Farmchemie has obtained FAMI-QS certification being the first Sri Lankan owned company certified with FAMI-QS. FAMI-QS stands for Feed Additive and pre-MIxture Quality System, which compromises the safety of animal feed and the quality of processed goods in accordance with European regulation no. 183/2005 on animal feed. Farmchemie is a BOI approved leading manufacturer and exporter of animal feed additives and nutritional supplements in Asia. Farmchemie is equipped with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility from Bühler, Switzerland to offer quality assured manufacturing services for world-renowned European brands as well as own brands under Farmstar. Farmchemie has already established their presence in numerous international markets such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia and Uganda. FAMI-QS will enable them to expand their markets including the European and USA.
“We are honoured to announce that Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan-owned company to be certified with FAMI-QS in combination with ISO 9001: 2015 and Good Manufacturing Practices certification for animal feeding. By attaining FAMI-QS, we are able to anticipate the expectations of our clients for safe, high-quality goods by lowering the related risk and enhancing the quality of onsite feeds via a supply chain that is properly guaranteed. For that Farmchemie implements measures for Feed Fraud and Feed Defense according to FAMI-QS supply chain integrity module V2. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our customers and suppliers for their continued support and dedication. We look forward to elevating the firm to new heights in the coming months and years, as our aims will always be centered on quality assurance and innovative manufacturing.” Managing Director Uditha Wanigasinghe stated.
Exports Gold Award for Textrip
Textrip Pvt Ltd, the export arm of the Elasto Group, was recently recognized, as the gold award winner for rubber and rubber-based products, medium scale category at the NCE Export Awards ceremony held recently in Colombo. The Chairman and Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera accepted the award at the gala event held at Shangri La Hotel. The national export awards ceremony, organized by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), recognizes and rewards Sri Lankan exporters on their performance in the international market.
“We always strive to manufacture high-quality rubber-based goods, using the latest technology, adhering to the highest international standards, and showcasing Sri Lanka on the global stage. I would like to thank our clients, locally and internationally for their continuous trust and my staff for their hard work and dedication. They are the pillars of our success,” Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera stated. Textrip products have obtained a number of national and international quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, CET, REACH and their products are designed to adhere to the ‘Wellness Wisdom’ theme. The company works with over 100 top sports and wellness brands and exports to more than 30 countries including European countries and the United States. TEXSTRETCH Progressive Exercise Resistance Bands is one of the most popular products of the company. The product is a great full-body workout solution for users of any level.
Sri Lanka Tourism returns to Spanish market after pandemic
Spain is one of the fastest recovery markets for Sri Lanka Tourism after the pandemic and participation in FITUR argues well for the much-needed exposure for Sri Lanka as an attractive tourism destination for Spanish-speaking countries, contributing in a substantive manner to its overall growth strategy. Sri Lanka Tourism made the presence with the 28 private sector companies at 43rd edition of FITUR International Travel Mart which was held from 18- 22 January 2023, Madrid, Spain. FITUR is the largest tourism event in the Spanish Market where all the sectors leisure, business and MICE tourism meet under one roof.
Sri Lanka Tourism stall was ceremonially opened by Mr.Chalaka Gajabahu ,Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Barcelona, Mr. Agustin Llana and representatives of the leading private sector members of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka was able to attract high level of attention from the trade and travel visitors attended at the event. The Sri Lanka pavilion highlighted many aspects of its potential culture, beauty, Ayurveda and many more which Sri Lanka would offer as a tourism destination. Sri Lanka stand optimized the “So Sri Lanka” and “Visit Sri Lanka” vivid sights to attract the potential visitor segments. At the Sri Lanka pavilion, Ceylon tea was served for the visitors with a view of promoting Ceylon tea in the Spanish market.
On the sideline of the FITUR travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Burau officials participated at the events organized by the UNWTO. During the events, SLTPB officials met with the Mr.Harry Hwang , Director of Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO.As a result of discussions, Mr.Harry Hwang has shown the interest to hold the UNWTO Joint commission in Sri Lanka in 2024.
Meantime, the SLTPB and Sri Lanka Embassy of France also took steps to arrange Business Meetings, exclusive media interviews, Air Line meetings at the FITUR 2023. The Media gathering conducted during the fair created the great opportunity to highlight the updates on the destination and create awareness on the destination.
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