The Ministry of Trade says that steps have been taken to speedily re-implement around 35 trade agreements signed with various countries, which currently remain inactive.Ministry Secretary S.T. Kodikara stated that the International Trade Office, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Commerce Department of the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Foreign Affairs would implement this programme in collaboration.
The Secretary stated that many discussions regarding some trade agreements had collapsed due to various reasons.He stated that these agreements are being implemented with the aim of promoting trade among the countries which have exempted existing tax bases. Under this initiative, it is expected to improve the free trade agreement with Singapore.
Apart from that, trade agreements signed with India, Thailand and China, which are currently inactive, are also due to be implemented again soon.The Secretary also mentioned that negotiations have been initiated to establish a new free trade agreement with Indonesia.
HSBC appoints new Country Head of Wholesale Banking for Sri Lanka and Maldives
HSBC Sri Lanka has appointed Kevin Green as the new Country Head of Wholesale Banking for Sri Lanka and Maldives with effect from 1 November 2022.Kevin has been with the HSBC Group for over 24 years and has held several senior positions in commercial banking, retail banking and risk management.
Prior to taking on his new role, Kevin was the Country Head of Wholesale Banking in HSBC Bangladesh, and prior to that he was the Chief Risk Officer for HSBC Vietnam.Kevin will lead the bank’s Wholesale Banking business in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, supporting corporate banking clients. He will lead a dynamic team of professionals to provide tailored solutions and services to customers and ensure the continued growth of the business.
Kevin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Services from the University of Manchester. He is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.
Commenting on the appointment, Mark Surgenor, Chief Executive Officer for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives, said “As the leading international bank in Sri Lanka and with a presence in 63 markets globally, we want to open up a world of opportunity for our internationally minded clients. Therefore, I am pleased to bring in an experienced leader like Kevin to lead our Wholesale Banking operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This is further evidence of our commitment to invest in the country and to support our clients. I am confident that Kevin’s extensive experience with HSBC Group will be an advantage to both our clients and colleagues, and further support the banks efforts towards economic growth of the country.”
HSBC, as the leading international bank has enjoyed a longstanding presence in Sri Lanka having completed 130 years of operations this year. The bank will continue to support Sri Lankan clients to connect globally and will continue to play a key role in supporting local businesses looking to expand across international markets by leveraging its global footprint and expertise in international trade, global payment services, sustainable finance and other financial services, whilst supporting its people and communities.
HSBC was recognised with the Sri Lanka International Initiative of the Year, won by Wholesale Banking for the dynamism, uniqueness, effectiveness & impact in green financing, for its first corporate ‘Green Loan’ for USD 6.3mn to Eco Spindles that was awarded by Asian Banking & Finance, this year. The bank was also named Best International Bank in Sri Lanka by Asiamoney, International Retail Bank of the Year by Asian Banking and Finance and Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka by Global Finance for 2022.
Sri Lanka Red Cross Society launches ‘Elixir’ to match donation in aid of medical requirements
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society launched Sri Lanka’s first-ever medical-supply-to-donation matching platform on October 19, 2022, called the Elixir Platform. The initiative is a volunteer-run, private-public-private partnership under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, and allows hospitals and treatment centres from across Sri Lanka to register their requirements for lifesaving medicines and medical supplies that may be in short supply, due to the country’s ongoing economic and foreign exchange crises. ‘Elixir’ also provides a single streamlined interface for donors who would like to support Sri Lanka at this time. By having all requirements and donations coming in via a unified and seamless platform, ‘Elixir’ can then match requirements and donations for efficient use of funds and time, while also reducing the total turnaround time for assistance and increasing transparency.
Designed and operated by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, together with its global network of volunteers and professionals, and in partnership with the Sri Lanka Medical Supplies Division of the Ministry of Health, the Elixir Platform is a huge collaborative undertaking to help Sri Lanka overcome the shortage of lifesaving medicines due to the present economic crisis.
Discussing the initiative, Dr Mahesh Gunasekara, Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society said, “First, we must express our sincere gratitude to all the donors, including individuals, corporations and governments, who have come to Sri Lanka’s aid at this time of need. With a large number of donations, we found that it was becoming challenging to track and fulfil medical needs across the system and prioritize based on urgency. Other challenges including oversupply due to duplicative efforts, high costs due to not utilizing economies of scale, internal competition for donations and other issues have arisen, along with a lack of transparency. Thus, ‘Elixir’ is our answer to these problems, and will facilitate transparency and accountability throughout the entire supply chain for the benefit of all stakeholders. On behalf of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, I take this opportunity to thank all volunteers and partners in this endeavour. Elixir is truly a landmark achievement and we look forward to supporting Sri Lanka as it overcomes its present challenges.”
Seylan World Mastercard cardholder offers
Marking its most recent effort to reward its loyal customers, Seylan Cards recently announced the launch of an exclusive promotion for the benefit of all Seylan World Mastercard cardholders.
One lucky Seylan World Mastercard cardholder will receive an Omega timepiece worth over Rs. 2 million at the end of the promotion period. Founded in 1848, Omega is a Swiss watch brand synonymous with excellence, innovation and precision. Given that the brand’s history has been dedicated to a quest for perfection, such a prize is expected to appeal to the elite Seylan World Mastercard cardholders. In order to stand a chance to win, cardholders must spend a cumulative total of Rs. 1 million during the promotion period until the 15th of December 2022.
As the festive season approaches, Seylan Cards has aptly timed this promotion in an effort to reward cardholders as they complete their Christmas shopping lists. Since both local and international spends are valid for the draw, cardholders travelling overseas could purchase their air tickets and shop overseas to benefit from current exchange rates.
Cardholders are also encouraged to utilise their Seylan World Mastercard card for high value spends on items such as jewellery or even solar power installations to reach the Rs. 1 million threshold to enter the draw.
As Seylan World Mastercard cards are limited to an exclusive number of members, the chances of winning the luxury timepiece are much higher, and is a unique opportunity that should not be missed.As the essential card for essential needs, several merchants offer Seylan Cardholders special discounts and easy payment facilities with 0% interest. Anyone interested in obtaining a Seylan Card is encouraged to call the hotline on 011 2008 888.
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