By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka will come out stronger with more resilience with an exuberant private sector that can withstand shocks, State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.
“Local investors and the business community have faith in a turnaround of the economy and in Sri Lanka’s fortunes, as the new government has already set these in motion. The government will implement in the future favourable measures and policies,” Cabraal told an investor forum titled, “Twenty 21 and Beyond”, organised by Softlogic Stockbrokers. The event was held at Movenpick Hotel on Tuesday.
Post-COVID-19, Cabraal said, exports have bounced back to near-normal, remittances were back on track and a lower oil bill was compensating for zero earnings from tourism. “I will say the external account today is not as bleak as it looked during COVID-19,” Cabraal said. “We have put and are putting in place the building blocks for high growth, despite challenges. We want the private sector to brace itself for a take-off, rather than losing hope, because there are plenty of positives of late, the state minister said.
Cabraal said the government is confident of high growth in the next five years, despite the challenges.
Cabraal said that between 2015 and 2019, the country suffered stagnant growth, rising unemployment, a dwindling rupee, low reserves with the export sector struggling and market capitalisation halving from $ 25 billion to $ 12.5 billion. “This wasn’t an aberration, but real, and everyone felt it,” he said. “These achievements are things which we couldn’t be proud of, but the resilience of the private sector, which is a hallmark, ensured Sri Lanka survived,” Cabraal said He said the previous government budget showed Rs. 2.2 trillion government revenue, but in reality the actual collection was Rs. 1.8 trillion, reflecting a Rs. 400 billion shortfall. “This was due to the downfall of the economy, and everyone felt it,” he opined.
Cabraal said that following the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the President in November 2019, the new administration set its sights on key priorities, including stabilising the rupee (which fell from Rs. 131 to the dollar to Rs. 185 between 2015 and 2019), reducing interest rates and taxes etc. This was critical, though Sri Lanka and the rest of the world was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. He said that post-COVID-19, the government had to take difficult steps and make a call whether to default on its sovereign debt, versus curbing forex guzzling jobs and lifestyle-impacting imports. “We opted for the latter, because we wanted to send a positive message to the rest of the world that we are a responsible government.
Seylan Bank offers amazing discounts for Avurudu
With Avurudu just around the corner, Seylan Bank PLC is offering amazing discounts to customers purchasing daily essentials, electronics, clothing, gifts, and more. The bank with a heart will celebrate the New Year with “Ratatama Super, Avurudu Offers with Seylan Cards” and “Seylan Tikiri – Season of Gifts and Laughter”.
The bank with a heart, commenced these exciting offers and promotions to provide the best Avurudu experience to its customers young and old, and to reward them for their continued loyalty to the bank, in the spirit of festivity.
“At Seylan Bank, we want to make your Avurudu an unforgettable experience,” said Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. “These two promotions underscore our customer-centric approach which focuses on providing products and services that enhance the overall customer experience and convenience, adding value to your experience with the Bank with a Heart.”
The Bank has partnered with leading supermarket chains on selected promotions; with Keells offering 30% off on fresh meat during the weekends, Cargills providing 20% off on total bills during selected weekends, Glomark offering 20% off on the total bill on every Sunday for a limited time, Laugfs Super providing 20% off on a range of goods on every Monday for a limited time, and Premasiri Supermarket offering 20% off on vegetables & 10% off on fruits on every Wednesday & Thursday during the promotion period.
SLIM elects new president and EXCO at 51st AGM
The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st AGM, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd president. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.
The AGM was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.
Thilanka currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:
SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970.
OPPO launches Avurudu song to spread seasonal cheer
OPPO recently launched an Avurudu jingle ahead of the Sinhalese & Tamil New year. Sung by OPPO brand ambassador & The Voice coach Umaria Sinhawamsa, the song also features popular personalities including actor& singer Gayan Gunawardena and choreographer Ramod Malaka& his dance troupe, Cool Steps.
The visual for the song has been shot in a scenic village atmosphere & features a host of New Year traditions of great cultural significance. The video also features the newly launched fan-favorite OPPO F19 Pro which is on offer during the season. On the first day of sales alone, the F19 Pro recorded a 200% increase in sales compared to its predecessor F17 Pro.
CEO of OPPO Sri Lanka Bob Li said: “This project helped us to immerse into Sri Lankan culture better. In keeping with the spirit of the season, evolving & upgrading, OPPO has launched two concurrent promotions: ERABADU WASI from 2-13 April & OPPO SERVICE WASI from 5 – 18 April.”
Aircraftsman sets swimming record with flying colours
JVP women raise fears about cost and safety of food for New Year
Govt. claims SLPP-SLFP relations remain strong
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
news6 days ago
New Geneva challenge: Chagie calls for united stand
Features7 days ago
Are we geared to handle aflatoxin problem meaningfully?
news7 days ago
Removal of CJ Peiris unconstitutional: Justice Minister
news5 days ago
UK rejects Lanka’s request for handing over of Gash dispatches to Geneva
Features7 days ago
Birthday surprise from Kumar and daughter
Editorial5 days ago
The strange case of Naufer
Opinion5 days ago
After Geneva Resolution: What Next?
Midweek Review6 days ago
leaves out Gash dispatches, Swiss embassy abduction drama and India’s accountability