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We become importers or manufacturers depending on govt policy: industrialists

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From left: SLCGC Vice President Aravinda Perera, SLCGC Vice President Mahendra Jayasekera, SLGCC president Anura Warnakulasooriya and SLCGC Member S.H.B. Karunaratne

 

SL Customs ‘text book’ not in line with President’s vision on Production Economy, they say

by Sanath Nanayakkare

A leading local ceramics products manufacturer and member of Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council told the media recently that their members choose to become manufacturers or importers depending on the policy of the government of the day.

“If we find it more profitable to import and sell due to policy decisions, we import. If we see the policy environment in Sri Lanka is conducive to manufacturing locally, we manufacture. We interchange our roles according to policy framework of the government”, he said.

Member of Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council S.H. B. Karunaratne whose company’s product range is exported to about 47 countries made these remarks while speaking at a press conference organised by the Council to voice a ‘major weakness’ in Sri Lanka Customs’ Valuation Book which ‘unfairly’ favours importers of ceramic bathware, glass ware and allied products making things hard for local manufacturers.

“We do believe in free trade which is a two-way street and we can successfully face competition offered by foreign products. But the current valuation for invoicing by Sri Lanka Customs is so skewed and heavily favours importers and doesn’t create a level playing for competent local manufacturers who have invested heavily in the industry. This is not fair and it needs to be rectified,” he said.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s national policy framework of Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour has created a conducive environment for local production, therefore, we are encouraged to remain as manufacturers”.

“Some social media posts claim that only Rocell makes bathroom sets in Sri Lanka and they produce their goods for individuals of upper-income class and big projects. The truth is not only Rocell but Auto Bathware, RSL Ceramics, Hega, Embilipitiya Ceramics also make complete bathroom sets on a bigger scale and several other companies on a smaller scale. That’s why there was no scarcity of products despite the ban on imports.. Our manufacturers are not producing 100% of the local market requirement. But because of the government’s policy, we have planned to invest Rs.2-3 billion in the near term. With these investments our 60% local production would increase to100% and we will be self-sufficient in ceramic products in two years. And we have our own transparent pricing system to make sure local consumers have access to local products of good quality at affordable prices according to their choice”.

“The main issue that discourages potential manufacturers and existing national manufacturers is that the Customs valuation book value for imported items is at a low and unrealistic rate. To import a complete set of ceramic bathware which weighs 65kgs and includes a commode, tank, basin, pedestal, seat cover and water fitting, the book value for invoicing stands at US$35.00 or Rs.6,350. This is an unrealistic amount as a complete set of ceramic bathware cannot be manufactured at such a low cost, because to purchase the seat cover and water fitting alone it costs Rs. 3,500”.

Suggesting a solution to the issue he said,” This issue can be corrected by amending the Custom’s ‘text book’ value to US$100. Once this is amended local manufacturers will be able to compete with imports and it will also prevent cheap inferior quality items being dumped in our country. And this will also help to stop the huge outflow of foreign exchange.

“Once this book value is amended to $100, the importers and local manufactures will have to compete on a level playing field, and this will in turn benefit the consumer as they can get a competitive price”.

When asked if their members have voiced their concern with the authorities on the ‘unfair’ valuation method by Sri Lanka Customs, Karunaratne said that they would be meeting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the matter at an upcoming meeting.



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Moose Clothing Company wins award at SLIM Brand Excellence 2020

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Hasib Omar, Executive Director/CEO at Moose Clothing Company (second left) with the company’s Head of Sales and Marketing Stefan Schumacher, Head of Supply Chain Vinu Basnayake and Senior Manager Finance Nadeesha Gunawardana.

Moose Clothing Company clinched their first bronze award for “Best New Entrant Brand” category at the recently held SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2020.

Moose Clothing believes in creating clothing that’s loved by all, allowing everyone to embrace and celebrate their unique personalities. Moose Clothing has over time established itself as a versatile brand that creates comfortable quality clothing with the perfect fit. The brand is keen about perfecting every aspect of their clothing and puts in every effort to create a quality garment that will always speak for itself.

Commenting on their marvellous achievement, Hasib Omar, Executive Director/CEO of Moose Clothing Company said, “This is indeed a testimony of our hard work and dedication towards the brand and our customers. At Moose we believe that each customer is unique and our clothing is tailored to match that uniqueness. We entered the market with that in mind and this award is a clear indication that we are on the right track.”

Established in 2018, the brand’s journey is all about celebrating the free-spirited personality of the wearers with versatile clothing that’s suitable for work, dance and play. 

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CSE bounces back; indices pick-up but turnover low

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

CSE activities bounced back  yesterday following a continued decline in its activities on  previous days.  But the market registered low turnover, fuelling investor concerns, stock market analysts said.

Both CSE indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by  76. 69 points and S and P SL20 rose by 39.03 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 2.07 billion without a crossing.

In the retail market, top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Rs. 188 million (4.2 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs. 158.6 million (526,000 shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 155 million (one million shares traded), JKH Rs. 145 million (975,000 shares traded) and  Dipped Products Rs. 118 million (2.8 million shares traded). During the day 76.96 million share volumes changed hands in 18746 transactions.

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted flat at 196.00/197.00 levels to the US dollar in the one-week forwards market on Friday while bond yields remained steady, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the one- week forward market at 196.00/197.00 to the dollar on Thursday.

Sri Lanka expects the GDP to grow between 3.0 to 3.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 with the rapid vaccination campaign rolled out giving people more confidence.

 

 

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AIA Insurance congratulates Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies

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AIA Insurance congratulates the winners of Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies 2020, for being recognized not just for their financial performance but also the value they create for their shareholders, customers, employees and the wider community.

AIA commended the 25 companies that were awarded this esteemed accolade- for proving their mettle with consistency, authority and sustainable growth, creating excellent business performance. This was the third consecutive year that AIA was the Platinum Sponsor of the Awards, organized by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) and other affiliated sponsors.

AIA CEO Nikhil Advani commented, “As part of Asia’s leading insurer and Sri Lanka’s Best Life Insurance Company for the 2nd consecutive year (awarded by the Global Banking and Finance Review) AIA’s core philosophy is doing the Right Thing, in the Right Way and with the Right People. We take pride in being associated with this event, which recognizes business excellence and ethics- essentially doing the right thing, the right way for the right results. We place honesty and integrity in the highest esteem and are delighted to celebrate reputed companies that share our values in generating value for their shareholders, customers and the community.”

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