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Vantage honours Minister Namal Rajapaksa

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A special token of appreciation was presented to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Namal Rajapaksa, by the Chairman of Ebony Holdings, Rasmi Raheem, at a special event held by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) at Monarch Imperial, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte on the 20th of January 2022. The accolade celebrates the Minister’s sincere and extraordinary involvement in terms of growing the sport of football in Sri Lanka, along with other related sports. Ebony Holdings is the company behind premier men’s wear brand, Vantage, which is the official partner of the FFSL, for football in Sri Lanka.

Discussing the matter, Rasmi Raheem – Chairman at Ebony Holdings said, “Namal Rajapaksa is one of the youngest ministers for sport in Asia and it’s an inspiration to see the dedication and commitment displayed by him to sports, particularly football. Vantage is officially partnered with the FFSL and we have devoted considerable resources towards the upliftment and promotion of football in our country. During our work, we have always been assured of the support of the Minister. Thus, it is but right for us to recognize and celebrate the Minister’s support and vision.”

Being amongst Sri Lanka’s top men’s fashion labels, supporting football is a natural step for Vantage. The company understands that the sport is still developing in Sri Lanka and, thus, appreciates the need to invest in and nurture football in Sri Lanka, particularly in terms of financing. Thus, Vantage is very pleased to partner with the FFSL to continue to develop Sri Lankan football.

Vantage is only one of the top-notch labels that come under the umbrella of Ebony Holdings, one of Sri Lanka’s premier clothing suppliers with an island-wide distribution network. Their portfolio of high-quality men’s clothing labels also contains the very popular Ebony and Luxure labels, all of which are at the forefront in setting the latest fashion trends in men’s wear clothing. The company’s commitment to quality and exceptional service has earned it much respect and esteem from its ever growing, loyal customer base. The company continuously strives to improve their offering and meet the needs of their discerning clientele.



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‘Economic Transformation Bill ‘ and ‘Public Financial Management Bill’ to Parliament on May 22 – Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe

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Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe announced plans to introduce two significant bills to Parliament on May 22, aimed at bolstering the country’s economy.

These bills, the “Economic Transformation Bill” and the “Public Financial Management Bill,” are designed to enhance the management of public finances, thereby safeguarding against future economic downturns.

Minister Semasinghe made this announcement during a press conference at the Presidential Media Centre today (20), themed ‘Collective path to a stable country’.

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Macroeconomic policies in Sri Lanka are starting to bear fruit: IMF

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Julie Kozack, Director of IMF Communications

However, the global lender still requires two things from Sri Lanka

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Julie Kozack, Director of IMF Communications, last week highlighted Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic policies, rapid inflation decline, and steady economic growth as commendable.

“Sri Lanka now anticipates finalizing debt restructuring with private and official creditors. Domestic debt operations are largely completed, paving the way for faster-than-expected economic recovery following the crisis”, she said.

“So, just stepping back and giving the lay of the land. On March 21st of this year, the IMF staff and the Sri Lankan authorities reached a staff-level agreement for the second review of the program and also concluded the and also finished the Article IV mission. Completion of the review by the Executive Board of the IMF requires two things. The first is implementation by the authorities of the agreed prior actions, and the second is the completion of the financing assurances review, and that would confirm multilateral partners’ financing contributions. And the financing review will also assess adequate progress with debt restructuring.”

“With respect to Sri Lanka’s economic performance, macroeconomic policies in Sri Lanka are starting to bear fruit. Commendable outcomes include a rapid decline in inflation, robust reserve accumulation, and initial signs of economic growth, while also preserving stability in the financial system. Overall, program performance has been strong. The next steps with respect to the debt restructuring are to conclude negotiations with external private creditors and to implement the agreements in principle with Sri Lanka’s official creditors. The domestic debt operations are largely completed. The initial debt restructuring negotiations with external bondholders ended in mid-April without an agreement, and discussions are continuing with a view to reaching agreement in principle. And on the official creditor side, these agreements in principle still need to be finalized,” she said.

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CMTA hosts forum to explore Sri Lanka’s economic growth and mobility

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On Left - Katsuki Kotaro, Deputy Head of Mission - Embassy of Japan delivers the keynote address. On Right - Thilaka Jayasundara (Secretary, Ministry of Education), Eng. Ranjith Rubasinghe (Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Highways), Bingumal Thewarathanthri (Chairman, Sri Lanka Bankers Association), Katsuki Kotaro and CMTA officials

The recent event organized by the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA), themed “Mobility and Economic Growth,” brought together key stakeholders and thought leaders to delve into crucial discussions shaping Sri Lanka’s economic landscape. The event, highlighted by a keynote speech from Katsuki Kotaro, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan, and a dynamic panel discussion, provided invaluable insights and strategies for sustainable growth and enhanced mobility.

Kotaro emphasized Sri Lanka’s significant strides in economic recovery since the challenges of 2022. He explained that Sri Lanka’s economy has rebounded since 2022, with steady growth rates approaching the 3% target for 2024. Inflation, previously at 70%, has dropped to 2.5%, though prices remain high. Government efforts and IMF support have stabilized the economy. He went on to explain, that Sri Lanka’s practical strategy should involve starting with hybrid vehicles until about 2030, then transitioning gradually to EVs and fuel cell vehicles by 2035, mirroring Japan’s carbon neutrality goals. This phased approach acknowledges Sri Lanka’s current infrastructure and fiscal limitations. It’s crucial to develop industrial policies that support automobile production and enhance mobility while balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability.

During the course of the discussion, Bingumal Thewarathanthri, Chairman of Sri Lanka Bankers Association, spoke about Sri Lanka’s current economic trajectory, and possible risks the country might face. He explained, “We don’t see a risk of not crossing this review. As a country, we’ve made significant progress in several areas, including fiscal policy and the external sector, which has performed exceptionally well. Although there are still areas that need improvement, particularly in debt restructuring, the requirement is to show meaningful progress rather than completion for the second review. Given our advancements, I’m confident that Sri Lanka will secure the $300 million needed to move forward.”

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