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Twenty five per cent decline in apparel exports expected this year

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by Hiran H. Senewiratne

The decline in our total  apparel exports would be by 25 percent this year on account of the pandemic. This would make a considerable dent in the US $ 4 billion foreign exchange earned annually through apparel exports. But the apparel sector will be able to come out of this crisis stronger than before due to government support, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) chairman A.Sukumaran said.

Sukumaran was addressing a media round table conference on Tuesday at the Movenpick hotel in Colombo.

He said that JAAF expects further demand contractions that could result in reductions in apparel exports by an additional 30-40 percent after June, in its best-case scenario. 

Sukumaran said that Covid 19 affects the apparel supply chain, the export market and due to that the industry is unable to fulfil certain obligations. 

” Our industry also builds on three pillars;  one is being a reliable supplier and all business practices follow high ethical standards.”

‘The apparel sector is the single largest exporter contributing seven percent to the country’s GDP. When it comes to industrial exports it contributes 59 percent. The industry’s total export earnings is 49 percent, he said.

 ‘Following this, the social stigma surrounding apparel workers too was expected to have an impact on the apparel sector, Brandix chairman Ashroff Omar said.

He said that  his Minuwangoda factory is functioning on a small scale even after detecting the first Covid 19 patient in October. ” We are looking after all employees and  police,  CID, PHIs, Labour Department and other relevant parties are closely watching our operations, which follow all Health Ministry protocols, Omar said.

‘Most of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the sector depend on fabrics and accessories supplied from China and the disruption of the supply chain due to the global outbreak of the virus affected exporters severely in the first half of this year, former JAAF chairman Noel Piyathilake said.

He said that there are 81 factories out of which 37 are direct exporters and 41  subcontractors, which provide 25000 employment and 15 percent export earnings. “The SME sector is also supporting the informal sector as well. If the SME sector is affected those informal sectors also suffer, Piyathilake said.            

Sri Lanka last year earned US $ 5.3 billion from apparel exports, an increase of 5.1 per cent  from 2018. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the industry originally expected a 6 percent  increase in exports for 2020.

Export earnings from apparel and textiles in October declined by 18.93  percent to US $ 356.52 million and by 21 percent  to US $ 3.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2020 from a year earlier. 



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HNB joins CBSL to promote ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign in Kandy

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HNB PLC once again joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage the public in the Kandy district towards a cashless payment ecosystem.

HNB, together with other financial institutions and telecommunication partners, participated in the day-long event held at the Kandy City Center. The bank raised awareness regarding its LANKAQR integrated HNB SOLO payment app while onboarding merchants during the promotional campaign.

“During the early stages of the pandemic we witnessed many of our customers and members of the public seamlessly adopt our cashless and contactless payment app HNB SOLO. With COVID and the subsequent launch of the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign the number of users of these types of systems have increased exponentially.

“Given that the mutual vision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and HNB is for a financially and technologically empowered Sri Lanka, HNB is proud to serve as an enthusiastic partner to roll out LANKAQR island-wide. The fact that we now have merchants in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka making this shift is another major milestone in this digitalization journey,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

 

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ComBank’s ATM network sets new records for cash dispensed during festive season

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The automated teller machine (ATM) network of Commercial Bank of Ceylon dispensed a record Rs 8.818 billion on 9th and 10th April 2021, shattering the previous records for the highest and second highest cash disbursements for a 24-hour period, as Sri Lanka’s leading private bank facilitated the celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The disbursements of Rs 4.498 billion on April 9 and Rs 4.320 billion on the following day represented a substantial increase over the single-day values recorded in previous years.

In total, Commercial Bank dispensed Rs 41.748 billion via its ATM network between 1st and 15th April 2021 at an average of Rs 2.783 billion per day, reaffirming the indispensable role it plays in the lives of Sri Lankans, as well as the reliability and robustness of the network. On seven of these 15 days the network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, and on five days disbursements exceeded Rs 3 billion a day, the Bank said.

Comprising of 890 ATMs, the network processed 2.434 million transactions over the 15 days at an average of 168,988 transactions a day, while on 9th April, the number of transactions processed totalled 233,990 at an average of 9,749 transactions per hour or 162 transactions per minute.

The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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‘Ceylinco VIP Cyber Tharu’ to showcase Sri Lankan talent

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Ceylinco General Insurance has announced an online competition with a novel concept to showcase Sri Lankan talent by providing a platform for them with the opportunity to win handsome cash prizes.

“This time, our effort is to organize an online competition that provides an opportunity for Sri Lankan people to display their talent and also to identify hidden talents whilst rewarding them. There will be five overall winners whose prize money will be over Rs. 1 million and each category winner will get Rs 100,000/-. Ten randomly picked voters too will receive handsome cash awards,” said Patrick Alwis, chairman CEO of Ceylinco General Insurance.

The guidelines and the criteria of the competition were announced recently through a dedicated website and other social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, twitter, You Tube as well as LinkedIn. Contestants can perform under five categories, namely, singing, dancing, instrumental performances, fashion modelling and funny videos / Standup comedy. Individuals over 18 years could perform under the individual category whilst the group category will have no age limit.

Under the group category either families or a group of friends could take part. Each entry will have to be specially recorded for this competition. Prior to recording the performance, they should download the image of the logo and have it displayed prominently in the background. Performances could be recorded using a smart phone or a video cam.

 

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