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‘Take better advantage of present trade preference with US’

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Seated from L-R: Ms. Dinithi Dias, Manager Business Council, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Sanji De Silva, Vice President SLUSABC; Alaina B. Teplitz, the ambassador of the United States of America to Sri Lanka and the Maldives; Dr. Asanka Ratnayake, president SLUSABC; Mohan Mendis, treasurer SLUSABC; Samantha Rajapaksha, Immediate Past President SLUSABC. Standing from L-R: Charithra Hettiarachchi, HVA Foods PLC; Waruna Randeewa, CBL Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd; Tilak Gunawardena, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd; Sanjaya Samararatne, Global Rubber Industries (Pvt) Ltd; Shane Perera, Regency Teas (Pvt) Ltd; Indika Kulathunga, Dipped Products PLC; Farhath Armith, Fanam International (Pvt) Ltd.

 

SL companies urged –

Trade between Sri Lanka and the US can grow further and one way Sri Lankan companies can maximize trade with the US is to take better advantage of existing trade preferences between the countries, US ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Alaina B. Teplitz said. Teplitz was addressing the Sri Lanka-USA Business Council (SLUSABC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce as chief guest on September 17 at the 4th AGM of the organization. Dr. Asanka Ratnayake, Director, Hayleys Advantis Ltd. was re-elected president of the SLUSABC for 2020/2021.

Teplitz added –

For example, did you know that exports under the Generalized System of Preferences or GSP accounted for 5.32 percent of the total exports to the U.S. in 2019? That seems like a very small percentage. A total of 196 million in exports were eligible for cost savings under GSP. This is a marketing advantage that Sri Lankan firms should be broadcasting to prospective buyers as a reason to buy from these companies. It’s an advantage that, in fact, we do not want to be kept a secret. We want Sri Lankan businesses to know about these opportunities, which is why the embassy facilitated discussions as recently as last week explaining how GSP exporters can take better advantage of GSP benefits and we’ll continue to discuss that topic if there is further interest”.

President of the Council, Dr. Asanka Ratnayake mentioned that, “Today, we are all faced with an unforeseen challenge, that is, Covid-19 pandemic – which is the biggest disruptor of life and commercial activities in recent history. It has transformed the world. We can either lead this transformation or we can wait for it to disrupt us. However, the pandemic also gives us reasons to be optimistic. In the recent years, Sri Lanka has been increasingly featured in discussions on the Asian geopolitical environment. Undoubtedly our strategic location across the Indian Ocean sea-lanes has been attracting the interest of major powers such as India, China and more recently, Japan and the US. While this has its own merits and de-merits, I hope Sri Lanka will be able to withstand to play a new role on Asia’s rapidly changing geopolitical stage and convert it to country’s own long-term economic benefit.”

Sanji de Silva, Bileeta (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the vice president and Mohan Mendis, Heritage Teas (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the treasurer for the period 2020/2021.

CBL Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Dipped Products PLC, Fanam International (Pvt) Ltd, Global Rubber Industries Pvt Ltd, HVA Foods PLC, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and Regency Teas (Pvt) Ltd were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.

Further details regarding membership of the Council could be obtained from the Secretariat of the Sri Lanka – USA Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, No. 50, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 2. E-mail: dinithi@chamber.lk or Tel.: 011-5588861, 5588800.

 

 

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realme dares to leap into Sri Lankan youth market with cutting edge devices

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realme, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, launched its products in Sri Lanka on the November 23. The virtual launch event took place with the participation of Chanux bro and realme Sri Lanka team where benchmark, trendsetting realme products were introduced to the Sri Lankan market.

The launch expands the reach of the fastest smartphone brand to reach 50 million product sales worldwide, to a brand new market with young users looking for the very best in technology and smart devices. Ranked among the Top 5 brands in over 13 markets globally in just two years of operation, realme is ranked seventh globally. Proclaiming it will ‘dare to leap’, realme identifies with young people who are willing to take a risk, and has launched four cutting edge products to the Sri Lanka market, set to exceed expectations.

realme 7 – sharper captures and cooler gaming with faster charges

realme 7 grabs the imagination of the youth with a 64MP Quad Camera with Sony IMX682 sensor for sharper captures, the World’s First MediaTek Helio G95 Gaming Processor for cool gaming and a 30W Dart Charge, taking just 26 mins to get 5000mAh battery 50% Charged. The sleek smartphone comes with a 6.5-inch 90Hz Ultra Smooth Display with a 16MP In-display Selfie Camera and Starry Mode.

The first smartphone to have passed TÜV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability, realme 7 is the first in segment smartphone with the Sony 64MP Quad Camera.

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President to inaugurate CCC Sri Lanka Economic Summit

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Sri Lanka’s foremost economic summit will be inaugurated by Chief Guest Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on December 1. The summit is themed “Roadmap for Take-off: Driving a People Centric Economic Revival”. The President will also deliver the inaugural address.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, will launch the second phase of the summit on December 2 and participate in the VVIP session focused on “Empowering Take-off: Efficient Government and Progressive State Enterprises.”

The Inaugural session on December 1, commencing at 8.30am will feature addresses by keynote speaker Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Republic of India and Guest of Honour Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya – chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will deliver the welcome address.

The flagship summit will be held on a virtual format in compliance with health guidelines and will bring together key policymakers, business leaders as well as the input of top international thought leaders will come together to identify the steps in developing the pathway towards the accelerated and people centric revival of the country’s economy.

Participants may register for the entire two-day virtual summit, or pick the sessions of their choice, an opportunity offered for the first time. Registrations for the event are now open. For further information, please contact Niroshini on niroshini@chamber.lk or 0115588852; or Alikie on alikie@chamber.lk or 0115588805. (CCC)

 

 

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Central Bank’s policy rates decision to be driven by two options

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank will be reviewing its monetary policy stance on November 26. In this context, First Capital Research has put forward strong arguments both for and against an interest rate cut, in its Pre-Policy Analysis.

Making their argument against further relaxation in monetary policy First Capital said, “As a response to the measures taken by the government, private sector credit has improved to Rs. 87.4Bn in September while market liquidity reached Rs. 140 bn by 13th Nov indicating that there is surplus liquidity in the system. Moreover, the unemployment rate, which was at 5.7% in the 1Q2020 has declined to 5.4% in the second quarter. These indicators suggest that economic activity has remained steady without much deterioration in the 2Q. Except the GDP growth numbers, where the 2Q2020 figures are yet to be seen, other indicators are signifying a recovery, inquiring the need of further policy easing at the upcoming review”.

“In response to previous monetary easing measures implemented by CBSL, to bring down costs of borrowing of businesses and households, both market deposit and lending rates adjusted notably so far during the year. AWPR declined to historic lows in recent weeks, while banks’ lending rates also witnessed a downward adjustment in line with CBSL’s expectations. We believe that considering the recovery in the private credit and historic low levels in AWPR, there is no vital requirement for CBSL to provide a rate cut and to further bring down the market lending rates drastically”.

Their arguments for further relaxation in monetary policy was: “A thrust for development is the need of the current government. We estimate that Sri Lanka’s GDP would see its steepest contraction in history of -5.8% in 2020 following the unexpected contraction in 1Q GDP growth of -1.6% while 2Q GDP figures are yet to be seen. However, the government’s key drive is the development oriented economic growth which was spelt out through the budget 2021 as well. Accordingly, the government plans to reach 6% and above GDP growth during the next 5 years commencing from 2021. As we believe, a development-oriented budget coupled with further low interest rate environment can support the government’s medium-term goals. Therefore, the need to accelerate the GDP growth can be considered as a major factor favouring further policy easing at the upcoming review.”

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