The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Australian Government-funded Market Development Facility (MDF) will host a series of events titled, ‘The Business Case for Climate Change Adaptation for Agribusinesses,’ to increase awareness of local agribusinesses on the risks posed by climate change to their business models.
The kick-off event of the series, ‘Experience from Industry Leaders,’ will take place on Tuesday, 24 August, at 9 AM via Zoom and will bring together a variety of prominent Sri Lankan business leaders who have identified climate change as a risk in their own business models and taken steps towards adaptation and mitigation.
The event will be opened by Ms. Amanda Jewell, Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. A panel discussion will follow, featuring Mr. Dilhan Fernando, CEO Dilmah Tea Company PLC (keynote speaker), joined by Ms. Shea Wickramasingha, Group Managing Director, CBL Group; Mr. Charitha Subasinghe, President – Retail, John Keells Holdings PLC; Dr. Rohan Fernando, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC; and Dr. Giriraj Amarnath, Principal Researcher and RGL – Disaster Risk Management and Climate Resilience, International Water Management Institute. An interactive Question and Answer session will follow the discussion.
The series aims to encourage agribusinesses to invest in adaptation strategies, with a long-term view of achieving bottom-line growth. As a key outcome of the event, participating agribusinesses will have the opportunity to explore the possibility of accessing MDF funding to invest in socially inclusive and sustainable climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
“It is imperative that agribusinesses are aware of the impacts of climate change and are equipped to adapt. This is important, not only for safeguarding the planet and its resources, but also to ensure that Sri Lankan businesses stay globally competitive and continue to support livelihoods of Sri Lankan men and women who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. MDF looks forward to partner with agribusinesses to implement climate smart and inclusive business models,” said Momina Saqib, Country Director of the Market Development Facility.
Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector contributes to 7.8 per cent of GDP. Approximately, 29 per cent of the country’s labour force is employed in the sector, providing livelihood to 70 per cent of the rural population. In the last 10 years, the sector has contributed to both the domestic food requirement and about USD 2.5 billion in export proceeds on average. In this context, climate change poses a significant threat to the sector and its productivity, putting at risk the livelihoods of direct and indirect stakeholders.
The webinar will take place on Tuesday, 24 August 2021, from 9.00am to 10.30am via Zoom. For registrations email email@example.com.
MDF is funded by the Australian Government and implemented by Palladium in partnership with Swisscontact. In Sri Lanka, MDF’s focus is on supporting the high value tourism, agriculture and fisheries sectors with cross-cutting investments to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation, access to finance and digital adoption. To date, MDF’s investments have benefitted 28,710 disadvantaged men and women and generated an additional income of USD 15,091,000 for Sri Lanka.
SLT-MOBITEL donates fourth PCR machine to Matara District Hospital
Recognising the importance to enhance Sri Lanka’s PCR testing capacity to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to protect citizens, SLT-MOBITEL continues its support by donating yet another vital PCR machine to the District General Hospital in Matara recently.
The donation of the PCR machine valued at over Rs. 5.7 million is part of SLT-MOBITEL’s ‘Sabandiyawe Sathakaraya’ CSR initiative in further strengthening the nation’s healthcare systems and assisting communities in need.
The equipment was handed over to the Deputy Director of the Matara Hospital Doctor Upali Rathnayaka in the presence of Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT-MOBITEL; Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL; Kiththi Perera, CEO, SLT; Shashika Senarath, CMO, Mobitel along with Regional GM, SLT; Regional Head – Mobitel and Hospital Staff.
Previously, PCR machines were donated to the Base Hospital, Karawanella, District General Hospital, Matale and the University Hospital of the Kotelawala Defense University. SLT-MOBITEL appreciates the support received from all Sri Lankans towards ‘Daana Paaramitha’ which was conceptualized as a platform to further increase community involvement in carrying out relief efforts to support families affected by the pandemic.
Extension of lockdown negatively impacts CSE
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading activities commenced yesterday in a lacklustre manner with little share-buying interest and later on became negative following the government’s announcement on the lockdown extension until October 1, stock market analysts said.
The Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC) at the Port City was set to commence this month and has been delayed until December owing to the current Covid 19 situation. This also affected CSE trading activities yesterday, analysts said.
Consequently, the stock market lost steam yesterday, closing on a negative note as investor sentiment remained erratic due to internal and external environmental factors. Both indices moved downwards or to negative territory despite healthy turnover in the market. The All Share Price Index went down by 46.09 points and S and P SL20 declined by 17.93 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.8 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka, where 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 101.1 million, its shares trading at Rs. 158.50 and Sampath Bank one million shares crossed for Rs. 49.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 49.50.
In the retail market, some companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs. 1.2 billion (7.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 604 million (4.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 540 million (58.3 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 204 million (2 million shares traded).
It is said that following two sessions of gains, the indices closed in the red due to price declines in large-cap stocks as investors opted to book modest returns after the recent sharp rally. Stocks such as Expo, LOLC, and JKH, which saw sharp gains in the past two sessions witnessed profit-taking at higher levels and weighed on the momentum throughout the session.
Further, high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Tokyo Cement Company and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Industrial Asphalts. During the day 153 million share volumes changed hands in 24000 transactions.
As of yesterday, the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar was equal to 199.607 Sri Lankan rupees. This is an increase of 7.856656 percent (or +14.5401 LKR) compared with the same time last year (17 September 2020), when 1 US dollar equaled 185.067 Sri Lankan rupees.
Lockdown takes toll on Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector activities
The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2021 has slowed down the manufacturing activities in the country. Accordingly, the manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 45.1 in August 2021 with a fall of 12.7 index points from the previous month, mainly driven by the decrease in New Orders, Production, Employment, and Stock of Purchases sub-indices. The decline in New Orders and Production, especially in the manufacture of food & beverages, furniture, and textiles & wearing apparel sectors, have mainly contributed to the overall decrease of the manufacturing PMI. Many respondents in those sectors highlighted that their local orders and distribution channels were affected due to the lockdown imposed as a measure of containing the pandemic. Further, many of them also emphasised that factory operations were disrupted due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees. Employment sub-index also declined in line with these developments.
The decrease of Stock of Purchases was in line with the decline in New Orders and Production. Further, the difficulties encountered in placing purchase orders and in settling foreign payments also adversely affected the supply chain of raw materials and production schedules. Many respondents stressed that the continuous increase in the cost of imported raw materials adversely affected their profit margins. Meanwhile, Suppliers’ Delivery Time lengthened at a slower rate in August 2021. The manufacturers cautioned that the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic would continuously hinder the prospects of the manufacturing sector, yet, overall expectations for manufacturing activities for the next three months remained above the neutral threshold.
Services PMI dropped to an index value of 46.2 in August 2021 with the restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the COVID-19. New Businesses, Business Activity, Employment and Expectations for Activity sub-indices recorded declines. New Businesses decreased in August compared to the previous month mainly with the declines observed in wholesale and retail trade, insurance, real estate, and education sub-sectors. Business Activities across most of the sub-sectors such as, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, insurance and other personal activities reported considerable declines indicating the adverse effects of travel restrictions on their business operations. Nevertheless, transportation sub-sector recorded some improvements solely due to the growth in freight volumes. Moreover, financial services sub-sector also indicated improvements despite the disturbances from travel restrictions. Employment continued to fall at a higher pace as retirements and voluntary resignations exceeded the number of recruitments carried out during the month. Backlogs of Work increased at a higher pace in August along with the reduction in staff availability amid travel restrictions and growing COVID-19 infections of staff. (CBSL)
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