SriLankan Airlines Sets the Stage for Raid Amazones 2023
SriLankan Airlines sets the stage to usher in Raid Amazones, the only itinerant women’s adventure race in the world, to Sri Lanka for the second year running as the Presenting Partner. Raid Amazones will hit the fabled streets of the hill capital, Kandy, between 19 – 29, March 2023 with the participation of over 250 female athletes. SriLankan Airlines is stepping up its efforts toward restoring the country’s tourism industry, in part by drawing major international events that help showcase the island’s appeal to diverse travel interests in the global arena.
Raid Amazones is a coveted annual destination adventure event originating from France, which features female athletes competing their way through a range of challenges such as orienteering, mountain biking, canoeing, riding, running and archery. Sri Lanka was chosen over rival destinations by the event’s founders due to the unparalleled warmth of its people and support on ground to pull off a successful event. Their decision is also down to the airline’s tireless marketing efforts to secure the popular trail on successive occasions for Sri Lanka in its hour of need for international tourism support.
During the 21st edition of the trail, the participants will be able to connect with a potpourri of natural and historical highlights as they trek through the Kandyan plateau in Central Sri Lanka. Their journey, though, would begin from the moment that they step onboard SriLankan Airlines to fly from Paris to Colombo, on an aircraft with custom livery dedicated to Raid Amazones 2023. SriLankan Airlines, together with Connaissance de Ceylan, the official ground handling partner of the event, will go all out to ensure that the French group experiences the best in Sri Lankan hospitality.
“My experience in Sri Lanka with the 20th Raid Amazones and the excellent feedback received by the participants last year convinced me to hold the 21st edition of Raid Amazones back-to-back in beautiful Sri Lanka. This would not have been possible without SriLankan Airlines and other partners. I made a promise to come back to Sri Lanka again, as I felt this is the best time to show the world how safe and authentic Sri Lanka is,” enthused Alexandre Debanne, President and Co-Founder of Raid Amazones.
Ashok Pathirage, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines, stated, “We are thrilled to welcome the participants of Raid Amazones 2023 to Sri Lanka once again. I am certain that every contestant will find their adventure in Sri Lanka, and hope that they return to their homeland with amazing memories that encourage other adventurers to visit and explore Sri Lanka. At the core of our mission at SriLankan Airlines is not just a desire to expand as an airline, but to take the country forward, and this is furthered in no small measure by partnering with international events.”
“SriLankan Airlines definitely spares no effort when it comes to shining a worldwide spotlight on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has something for every adventure traveller and that is the message that we want to share with the world by teaming with Raid Amazones this year too. We believe in fostering long-term partnerships that bring dividends in the form of continued opportunities to market the airline and country and look forward to many more years of collaboration with Raid Amazones,” added Richard Nuttall, Chief Executive Officer, SriLankan Airlines.
SriLankan Airlines partnered Raid Amazones in 2022 soon after recommencing operations to Paris. The airline and Sri Lanka are likely to gain over EUR 10 million worth of publicity globally from the 21st edition this year. The anticipated media coverage will especially help create more awareness of Sri Lanka as an adventure travel hotspot in France and the rest of Europe, where Raid Amazones is sought-after, and attract adventure-seekers. For SriLankan Airlines, that is the ultimate goal.
Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System
The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.
Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.
“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.
Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.
Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.
Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.
‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.
‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.
Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.
‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.
‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’
Share market moves into positive territory; indices up
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.
Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.
The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.
Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.
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