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‘Securing GSP+ extension beyond 2023 absolutely critical for apparel industry growth’

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From left: Former Secretary General and Consultant – Tuli Cooray, Deputy Chairman – Felix Fernando, Chairman – Sharad Amalean, Deputy Chairman - Saiffudeen Jafferjee and Secretary General – Yohan Lawrence

Deputy Chairman of MAS Sharad Amalean appointed JAAF chairman

The Joint Apparel Association Forum of Sri Lanka (JAAF) called for intensive dialogue and greater stakeholder collaboration in order to arrive to resolve the current forex crisis, as well as legislative reform towards a more sustainable medium-long-term trajectory for Sri Lankan apparel.

These views were expressed at the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association, the apex body representing five associations encompassing supply chain partners, the export-oriented apparel manufacturers, buying offices and representatives of international brands in Sri Lanka.

Addressing the gathering, newly appointed Chairman of JAAF and Deputy Chairman of MAS, Sharad Amalean commended the resilience demonstrated by the sector in the face of an unprecedented pandemic and outlined measures necessary for the sector to achieve its target of US$ 8 Bn in exports by 2025, while maintaining GSP+ and enhancing bilateral trade.

“Once again, Sri Lankan apparel has delivered an outstanding performance, achieving over US$ 5 Bn in exports last year amidst various challenges. While highly commendable, there are still many obstacles ahead of us. In order to successfully navigate these uncertain times, it is essential that all stakeholders act with unity, and continue to engage in dialogue with authorities on issues pertaining to foreign exchange and the adoption of regulations that can ensure sustainable growth for our vital industry,” Amalean stressed.

“We must also continue to enhance our bilateral trade by engaging with regional partners and associations to enhance trade relations. The securing of a GSP+ extension beyond 2023 will be absolutely critical for the growth of our industry,” he added.

Meanwhile, outgoing JAAF Chairman, A. Sukumaran noted that the industry would likely face continuing disruptions to their supply chain over the coming year, making the need for continuous engagement across industry stakeholders an essential pre-requisite to developing long-term solutions to the industry’s current and future challenges.

“The pandemic exposed underlying vulnerabilities in our extended global supply chains. However, we do not believe that right answer is to simply turn our backs to internationalization and build overlapping national supply chains – as had been advocated by certain quarters. Even with the current issues we face, the theory of comparative advantage within globalization is still a more financially viable approach. However, we also need to identify select areas in which development of domestic capacity can support Sri Lankan firms to effectively compete on a global stage, and ensure that such capacity development is expedited as much as possible.”

“Investing in less transactional and more collaborative supply chain relations will provide major solutions. This forges more resilient supply chains that are also more capable of dealing with our industry’s numerous challenges. We have thrived with our buyers on long-lasting relationships. We must do the same thing with supply chains as well. Balance strategies are a must for us to sustain ourselves on the sourcing map,” Sukumaran added.

The AGM saw the appointment of JAAF’s new executive committee for 2022/2023, which includes Chairman Sharad Amalean, Deputy Chairmen Saiffudeen Jafferjee and Felix Fernando, Past Chairmen Noel Priyathilake, Azeem Ismail and Ashroff Omar. Duly Authorized Representatives of the constituent bodies: Fabric & Apparel Accessory Manufacturers Association Pubudu de Silva, Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association – Jatinder Biala, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association – Aroon Hirdaramani, Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters – Hemantha Perera and Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association – Wilhelm Elias.

Other key appointments include individual members of the executive committee; Mahesh Hirdaramani, Manik Santiapillai, Ajith Wijesekera, Jafar Sattar, Anis Sattar, Rehan Lakhany and Mahika Weerakoon.

Meanwhile, Founding Secretary-General of JAAF Tuli Cooray stepped down from his position and will serve as a consultant moving forward. He will be replaced by Industry veteran Yohan Lawrence, Past Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association.



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Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 

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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 

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CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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