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SLID webinar – Sri Lanka’s economy: The next 6 months

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The Women Directors Forum of The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors together with the Women Corporate Directors (WCD) Sri Lanka Chapter recently organized a webinar on Sri Lanka’s Economy: The Next 6 Months to understand what the next 6 months will hold for Sri Lanka under different political and debt scenarios. Anshari Perera – Head of Sector Research & Lead Macro Economic Analyst and Chayu Damsinghe – Product Head Macroeconomic & Thematic Research of Frontier Research (Pvt) Ltd were the resource persons for the session.

In her presentation, Anshari Perera said that the near-term economic outlook is very ambiguous as it is tied to the political nuances in the country and that there can be a significant amount of volatility over the next few months depending on how the situation unfolds. She added that political situation and the negotiations with the IMF are two key factors that will have a significant impact on how Sri Lanka’s economy will perform in the near-term as well as from a longer-term perspective.

“The IMF is important in bringing back confidence and improving the sentiment – particularly the foreign investor sentiment – towards Sri Lanka. From a political perspective, if we have a stable government that can continue throughout this period, it will immensely help with the IMF negotiations and the debt restructuring process. Anshari went ahead to comment that Sri Lanka is not unique in the situation it is in. Many other economies have undergone similar experiences in the past 10-15 years. IMF’s importance at this juncture can be understood by studying the experience other countries have had in similar currency and debt crises and how they have manoeuvred their economies back to health with the backing of the IMF. She mentioned that countries which have continued with the IMF programme for at least two years have seen spiralling inflation fall back to below 15% and cut back on money printing with tight monetary and fiscal policy reforms such as interest rate increases and restructuring of taxes. An IMF programme will also support an inflation rate slow-down and stabilization of exchange rates” she said adding that while Sri Lanka can recover from this crisis and come out stronger like some of the other countries, the recovery will not be a “V” shaped fast recovery.

Chayu Damsinghe commented that the crisis that Sri Lanka is going through is not necessarily rare or uncommon. He mentioned that the recovery witnessed by other countries gives optimism even though the trajectory of recovery may be mid to long term. While some countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe underwent a hyper-inflationary period, most countries recovered, some quite strongly, having undergone varying levels of pain.”

“In 1991 India experienced its Gross Fiscal Deficit rising which was financed through increased borrowings. India saw its reserves falling from USD 3.11 billion at the end of August 1990 to USD 891 million by mid-January 1991 causing massive problems across India. The economic crisis fuelled a political upheaval too with India appointing four prime ministers from 1989 to 1991. It was PM Narsimha Rao’s Government that was credited for having implemented the necessary reforms for India to come out of the crisis.”

“Across this period, the currency depreciated quite heavily across a series of devaluations. Interest rates were also high although not as high as in Sri Lanka” he added.”

He also highlighted that India was facing the same issues that Sri Lanka is currently facing such as foreign lenders becoming reluctant to lend money, non-availability of forex to import essentials such as fuel and fertiliser, an adjustment of the exchange rate which was put in place to discourage the import of non-essential items while encouraging non-residents to send more money to their local bank accounts. The reforms package promulgated by the then PM of India to make them self-reliant with the ability to pay for their imports with their own exports, liberalising government regulation and controls which hindered economic activity and employment opportunities, reducing rural urban disparities, ensuring social justice and the misuse of government concessions with those other than the poor and needy enjoying the benefits does resonate with the discussions that are now taking place in Sri Lanka.



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Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan owned company to receive FAMI-QS certification

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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.

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Exports Gold Award for Textrip

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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.

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Sri Lanka Tourism returns to Spanish market after pandemic

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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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