By Lynn Ockersz
The Sri Lankan state will exercise sovereign control over the CHEC Port City Colombo project and would remain accountable to the people of Sri Lanka by virtue of the fact that the project would remain open to scrutiny by the Sri Lankan parliament, Assistant Managing Director, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd. Thulci Aluwihare told ‘The Island Financial Review’ in an interview.
Besides, all revenues received by the project would be remitted to Sri Lanka’s Consolidated Fund and would remain within the country, Aluwihare pointed out in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper, where he debunked the allegation that the CHEC Port City Colombo project will be a ‘sell out’ to the Chinese, rendering the investment area a ‘Çhinese colony’. Besides, the Colombo Port City would not turn Sri Lanka into a ‘money laundering haven.”
Elaborating Aluwihare said: ‘Principal among our aims is the attraction of foreign investment to the country. $ 1.4 billion has been spent by the project company over reclaiming the relevant land from the sea. For a consideration, the state has granted a ‘No Lease Hold Right’ over 116 hectares of the project land which is the ‘master lease’. Under this arrangement 48 marketable blocks of land would be on offer for investment. What is of importance is that in all these transactions the state will be a principal party.
“Even if an investor obtains a “No Lease Hold Right” from the state in respect of a project, the investor would need to obtain a licence from the CHEC Port City Commission to operate. The Commission would issue such licenses with conditions. And the Commission holds the right to revoke such licenses if the conditions are not met.
“In all these transactions, the government of Sri Lanka is the lessor. The investor would be signing a lease with the government of Sri Lanka, who will be the landlord.
‘The majority of members of the Commission would be Sri Lankans. But we need experienced, competent people for this apex body. Accordingly, the Commission needs to enjoy some autonomy and independence as well in employing personnel.
“The anti-money laundering laws that have been operative in this country would continue to be enforced strongly. It is only loose regulatory laws that lead to problems like money laundering. But there will be no let-up by Sri Lanka on this score. The monetary authorities would continue to stringently apply the regulations but these regulations should also need to be market-driven. We expect sophisticated transactions though.
‘It is important to point out that the local courts will have jurisdiction in the Port City. Here too there is no dilution of the state’s sovereignty.
“Our region has progressed into a services economy. We need to compete with countries such as Singapore, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, for example, to attract FDI. You need to offer fiscal and other incentives to attract FDI to Sri Lanka. A dip of 40 per cent of FDI in Sri Lanka last year, drives the point home. But given our location, we are in a position to talk about Sri Lanka as a business destination.
“Of principal importance is the supply chain impact the Port City project would have on Sri Lanka. Local enterprises dealing with the Port City will be paid in dollars and not local currency. Even Sri Lankan SMEs which are part of the supply chain will be paid in dollars. There is also potential for local employment generation where the income earners will be paid in dollars.
“At present there are some 4000 employment opportunities for locals in the Port City. Currently, 1500 to 1800 locals are employed in the project. So, there are growing opportunities for locals in this initiative. They would get the opportunity to work for some the world’s most prominent brands in their own backyard and for dollar remuneration.
‘Sri Lanka produces 25,000 graduates annually. One third of these belong to the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and allied fields. But 20 to 25 percent of these graduates migrate. Our graduates could now work for a multinational company if the opportunities offered by the Port City project are availed of.”
Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan owned company to receive FAMI-QS certification
Farmchemie has obtained FAMI-QS certification being the first Sri Lankan owned company certified with FAMI-QS. FAMI-QS stands for Feed Additive and pre-MIxture Quality System, which compromises the safety of animal feed and the quality of processed goods in accordance with European regulation no. 183/2005 on animal feed. Farmchemie is a BOI approved leading manufacturer and exporter of animal feed additives and nutritional supplements in Asia. Farmchemie is equipped with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility from Bühler, Switzerland to offer quality assured manufacturing services for world-renowned European brands as well as own brands under Farmstar. Farmchemie has already established their presence in numerous international markets such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia and Uganda. FAMI-QS will enable them to expand their markets including the European and USA.
“We are honoured to announce that Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan-owned company to be certified with FAMI-QS in combination with ISO 9001: 2015 and Good Manufacturing Practices certification for animal feeding. By attaining FAMI-QS, we are able to anticipate the expectations of our clients for safe, high-quality goods by lowering the related risk and enhancing the quality of onsite feeds via a supply chain that is properly guaranteed. For that Farmchemie implements measures for Feed Fraud and Feed Defense according to FAMI-QS supply chain integrity module V2. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our customers and suppliers for their continued support and dedication. We look forward to elevating the firm to new heights in the coming months and years, as our aims will always be centered on quality assurance and innovative manufacturing.” Managing Director Uditha Wanigasinghe stated.
Exports Gold Award for Textrip
Textrip Pvt Ltd, the export arm of the Elasto Group, was recently recognized, as the gold award winner for rubber and rubber-based products, medium scale category at the NCE Export Awards ceremony held recently in Colombo. The Chairman and Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera accepted the award at the gala event held at Shangri La Hotel. The national export awards ceremony, organized by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), recognizes and rewards Sri Lankan exporters on their performance in the international market.
“We always strive to manufacture high-quality rubber-based goods, using the latest technology, adhering to the highest international standards, and showcasing Sri Lanka on the global stage. I would like to thank our clients, locally and internationally for their continuous trust and my staff for their hard work and dedication. They are the pillars of our success,” Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera stated. Textrip products have obtained a number of national and international quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, CET, REACH and their products are designed to adhere to the ‘Wellness Wisdom’ theme. The company works with over 100 top sports and wellness brands and exports to more than 30 countries including European countries and the United States. TEXSTRETCH Progressive Exercise Resistance Bands is one of the most popular products of the company. The product is a great full-body workout solution for users of any level.
Sri Lanka Tourism returns to Spanish market after pandemic
Spain is one of the fastest recovery markets for Sri Lanka Tourism after the pandemic and participation in FITUR argues well for the much-needed exposure for Sri Lanka as an attractive tourism destination for Spanish-speaking countries, contributing in a substantive manner to its overall growth strategy. Sri Lanka Tourism made the presence with the 28 private sector companies at 43rd edition of FITUR International Travel Mart which was held from 18- 22 January 2023, Madrid, Spain. FITUR is the largest tourism event in the Spanish Market where all the sectors leisure, business and MICE tourism meet under one roof.
Sri Lanka Tourism stall was ceremonially opened by Mr.Chalaka Gajabahu ,Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Barcelona, Mr. Agustin Llana and representatives of the leading private sector members of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka was able to attract high level of attention from the trade and travel visitors attended at the event. The Sri Lanka pavilion highlighted many aspects of its potential culture, beauty, Ayurveda and many more which Sri Lanka would offer as a tourism destination. Sri Lanka stand optimized the “So Sri Lanka” and “Visit Sri Lanka” vivid sights to attract the potential visitor segments. At the Sri Lanka pavilion, Ceylon tea was served for the visitors with a view of promoting Ceylon tea in the Spanish market.
On the sideline of the FITUR travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Burau officials participated at the events organized by the UNWTO. During the events, SLTPB officials met with the Mr.Harry Hwang , Director of Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO.As a result of discussions, Mr.Harry Hwang has shown the interest to hold the UNWTO Joint commission in Sri Lanka in 2024.
Meantime, the SLTPB and Sri Lanka Embassy of France also took steps to arrange Business Meetings, exclusive media interviews, Air Line meetings at the FITUR 2023. The Media gathering conducted during the fair created the great opportunity to highlight the updates on the destination and create awareness on the destination.
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