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Seylan Bank supports SME exporters through free webinar in partnership with CCC

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‘Guidance to Make Exports Easier’, a webinar for local exporters, was successfully conducted by Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, with the live participation of over 200 small and medium exporters. The webinar was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of local exporters, and thereby encouraging the export sector to be the backbone of the national economy. The free webinar was hosted on multiple platforms; Zoom, LinkedIn, YouTube, and the official social media channels of Seylan Bank.

Hosted in partnership with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the webinar spoke to existing and potential exporters on the procedures related to the sector. Mohammed Fayaz – National Consultant for International Trade Center (a GIZ funded project) and Bhagya Abeykoon – Assistant Director of Commerce, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Trade in Sri Lanka, shared their perspective with participants. They provided insight to solutions that would make export less complicated, the export procedure in the market, a step-by-step guide on functionality and finding export markets, as well as an introduction of the Trade Portal. The challenges faced by SMEs, potential exporters and young entrepreneurs were also discussed.

Speaking to the participants, Dilan Wijegoonawardene, Assistant General Manager – International, Seylan Bank highlighted the services available at Seylan Bank, providing details about export related financing facilities that can help existing and potential exporters.

Speaking about the webinar, Wijegoonawardene, said: “Seylan strongly believes in supporting the national economy by encouraging the SME sector and Entrepreneurs to develop their potential. It is with this view that the Bank has continuously carried out free webinars, which not only enhance their knowledge but also provide solutions to their challenges. In this particular webinar, we were able to reach out to a specific community involved in export-oriented businesses and educate them on the export related services available at Seylan Bank, which will be of immense help for them to set-up or expand their businesses.”

The export sector, as one of the major contributors to the national economy, can play an important role in easing the FOREX deficit that Sri Lanka is currently experiencing. Therefore, encouraging and supporting the export business at every level is a timely need. By focusing on the small and medium businesses, Seylan Bank is lending support to those who would otherwise not have access to insights and expert knowledge of the processes to excel in the export sector. Understanding the importance of such knowledge sharing sessions, Seylan Bank will continue to carry out webinars of similar capacity in the future, ensuring that the local SMEs are benefitted from a range of learnings that can enhance their businesses.

Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, operates with a vision to offer the ultimate banking experience to its valued customers through cutting-edge technology, innovative products, and best-in-class services, in order to enable and empower consumers. The Bank has a growing clientele of SMEs, Retail and Corporate Customers, and has over 540 access points across the country. Seylan Bank gives prominence to empowering the SME sector as a main focus area, through a range of services that enable the small and medium enterprises to reach their highest potential, as one of the main contributors to the national economy. Seylan Bank has been endorsed as a financially stable organization with performance excellence across the board by Fitch Ratings, with the bank’s national long-term rating revised to ‘A’(lka). These are a testament to Seylan Bank’s financial stability and its unwavering dedication to ensuring the consistent delivery of Service Excellence across all aspects



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‘Economic Transformation Bill ‘ and ‘Public Financial Management Bill’ to Parliament on May 22 – Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe

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Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe announced plans to introduce two significant bills to Parliament on May 22, aimed at bolstering the country’s economy.

These bills, the “Economic Transformation Bill” and the “Public Financial Management Bill,” are designed to enhance the management of public finances, thereby safeguarding against future economic downturns.

Minister Semasinghe made this announcement during a press conference at the Presidential Media Centre today (20), themed ‘Collective path to a stable country’.

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Macroeconomic policies in Sri Lanka are starting to bear fruit: IMF

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Julie Kozack, Director of IMF Communications

However, the global lender still requires two things from Sri Lanka

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Julie Kozack, Director of IMF Communications, last week highlighted Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic policies, rapid inflation decline, and steady economic growth as commendable.

“Sri Lanka now anticipates finalizing debt restructuring with private and official creditors. Domestic debt operations are largely completed, paving the way for faster-than-expected economic recovery following the crisis”, she said.

“So, just stepping back and giving the lay of the land. On March 21st of this year, the IMF staff and the Sri Lankan authorities reached a staff-level agreement for the second review of the program and also concluded the and also finished the Article IV mission. Completion of the review by the Executive Board of the IMF requires two things. The first is implementation by the authorities of the agreed prior actions, and the second is the completion of the financing assurances review, and that would confirm multilateral partners’ financing contributions. And the financing review will also assess adequate progress with debt restructuring.”

“With respect to Sri Lanka’s economic performance, macroeconomic policies in Sri Lanka are starting to bear fruit. Commendable outcomes include a rapid decline in inflation, robust reserve accumulation, and initial signs of economic growth, while also preserving stability in the financial system. Overall, program performance has been strong. The next steps with respect to the debt restructuring are to conclude negotiations with external private creditors and to implement the agreements in principle with Sri Lanka’s official creditors. The domestic debt operations are largely completed. The initial debt restructuring negotiations with external bondholders ended in mid-April without an agreement, and discussions are continuing with a view to reaching agreement in principle. And on the official creditor side, these agreements in principle still need to be finalized,” she said.

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CMTA hosts forum to explore Sri Lanka’s economic growth and mobility

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On Left - Katsuki Kotaro, Deputy Head of Mission - Embassy of Japan delivers the keynote address. On Right - Thilaka Jayasundara (Secretary, Ministry of Education), Eng. Ranjith Rubasinghe (Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Highways), Bingumal Thewarathanthri (Chairman, Sri Lanka Bankers Association), Katsuki Kotaro and CMTA officials

The recent event organized by the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA), themed “Mobility and Economic Growth,” brought together key stakeholders and thought leaders to delve into crucial discussions shaping Sri Lanka’s economic landscape. The event, highlighted by a keynote speech from Katsuki Kotaro, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan, and a dynamic panel discussion, provided invaluable insights and strategies for sustainable growth and enhanced mobility.

Kotaro emphasized Sri Lanka’s significant strides in economic recovery since the challenges of 2022. He explained that Sri Lanka’s economy has rebounded since 2022, with steady growth rates approaching the 3% target for 2024. Inflation, previously at 70%, has dropped to 2.5%, though prices remain high. Government efforts and IMF support have stabilized the economy. He went on to explain, that Sri Lanka’s practical strategy should involve starting with hybrid vehicles until about 2030, then transitioning gradually to EVs and fuel cell vehicles by 2035, mirroring Japan’s carbon neutrality goals. This phased approach acknowledges Sri Lanka’s current infrastructure and fiscal limitations. It’s crucial to develop industrial policies that support automobile production and enhance mobility while balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability.

During the course of the discussion, Bingumal Thewarathanthri, Chairman of Sri Lanka Bankers Association, spoke about Sri Lanka’s current economic trajectory, and possible risks the country might face. He explained, “We don’t see a risk of not crossing this review. As a country, we’ve made significant progress in several areas, including fiscal policy and the external sector, which has performed exceptionally well. Although there are still areas that need improvement, particularly in debt restructuring, the requirement is to show meaningful progress rather than completion for the second review. Given our advancements, I’m confident that Sri Lanka will secure the $300 million needed to move forward.”

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