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Webinar on economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and South Korea

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The embassy of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea in close coordination with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Korea Importers Association (KOIMA), Korea Business Council and the embassy of the Republic of Korea in Colombo conducted a webinar, last week, with particular focus on business opportunities and vistas, strategies to enhance bilateral trade particularly exports of goods and services of Sri Lanka to South Korea, investment and commercial opportunities and tourism, among others.

The key speakers were the ambassador of South Korea in Colombo Amb. Jeong Woonjin, chairman & CEO of KOIMA Kwang-hee Hong and Senior International Director of KOIMA Joong-hyun Jough, Chief Economist of CCC Shiran Fernando, president of Sri Lanka-Korea Business Council Priyantha Mendis and ambassador of Sri Lanka to Seoul Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis respectively. Ms. Lilakshini de Mel, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the CCC, coordinated, orchestrated and publicized all spheres of this high-profile webinar along with the two embassies and KOIMA.

A number of noted corporates, entrepreneurs, business houses, senior bureaucrats and technocrats and academics mostly from Sri Lanka as well as from South Korea participated in this Webinar. The president of Sri Lanka-Korea Business Council made the opening welcome remarks, while Shiran Fernando of CCC, introduced the respective speakers of the webinar as the moderator.

Ambassador Jeong Woonjin stated that being in Sri Lanka for only two months, he could witness at first-hand basis the potential and vistas of the country, particularly in the context of the manner in which the general elections were conducted on 5th of August 2020 as well as efficacious containment of COVID-19. He accentuated two key factors, which were trust and confidence of the peoples of Sri Lanka and of the international community vis-à-vis Sri Lanka. He further enunciated a very positive and sanguine message of Sri Lanka, particularly to Korean corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to be engaged with Sri Lanka.

The chairman of KOIMA expounded the goods and services imported to the RoK and ways and means to enhance and aggrandize the exports of Sri Lanka to the RoK, in particular. It may further be noted that the KOIMA is the focal Institution in the entire country with regard to imports to the RoK similar to the BOI of Sri Lanka with regard to FDI and FII. The Senior Director of International Affairs of KOIMA made a comprehensive presentation which encompassed opportunities in the import sector of South Korea.

Ambassador Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis stated the courses of action Sri Lankan corporates and entrepreneurs should implement and execute in order to capture and penetrate the highly competitive Korean market, thus enhancing the exports to South Korea. He added that today South Korea is the 9th largest economy in the world and in 1960s was one of the poorest nations in the world. He added that the imports of South Korea in 2018 were in the vicinity of USD 530 billion and if Sri Lanka could capture, only 0.1%, it would amount to USD 530 million. This would be an increase of over 700% compared to the exports from Sri Lanka to the RoK in 2019. Dr. Mendis also added that 50% of Sri Lanka’s exports to the RoK comprised of apparels, coconut and rubber products and tea and accentuated the vitality and seminality to diversify the export basket.

(The embassy of Sri Lanka)

 

 

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GPV Lanka wins Gold Award at Taiki Akimoto 5S Awards 2019

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GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd won the Taiki Akimoto 5S Gold Award 2019 under the large category presented by Japanese Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTECA).

What was special in particular about the achievement was that GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd clinched the Gold Award in the first attempt itself while competing against several other large-scale, well reputable organisations in Sri Lanka.

GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. is a subsidiary of GPV International A/S Denmark. GPV was founded in Denmark in 1961 and is today one of Europe’s leading electronics manufacturers. GPV is a global EMS-partner providing complex electronics, cable-harness, mechatronics and box-build solutions including design and engineering activities to customers worldwide within high mix/low-medium volume.

GPV generates revenue at about USD 460 million with around 3,700 employees and has production sites across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

GPV Lanka (Pvt) Ltd has been in the industry in Sri Lanka for more than 30 years, and today it has 1,022 employees including 45 electronic engineers with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

The company was recognized at the Sri Lanka Presidential Export Award consecutively for four years in 2015/16/17/18, under the electronic & electrical sector for highest foreign exchange earner.

The JASTECA upholds the benchmark of excellence for companies practising Japanese productivity concepts such as the globally accepted 5S system for organising, promoting efficiency, effectiveness and safety.

The awards ceremony was held for the 24th consecutive year at the Grand Ballroom of Hotel Galadari on August 22, 2020 with a large gathering of representatives of all the award winners, JASTECA Members and the Chief Guest, Toshihiro Kitamura, Minister, Embassy of Japan, Sri Lanka.

 

 

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Seylan Bank joins hands with PickMe for exciting promotions

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Seylan Bank recently partnered with PickMe, Sri Lanka’s leading transportation service provider, to offer all Seylan Credit and Debit Cardholders exciting discounts bringing convenience to their fingertips.

A discount of Rs. 100 per month on two PickMe rides per user can be claimed by Seylan Card holders during the promotional period until December 31st, 2020. To avail this promotion, Seylan Cardholders can simply add their Seylan debit or credit card as a payment method on the PickMe app and enjoy smooth and reliable cashless transactions eliminating the need for physical cash in hand. Seylan customers who wish to book a ride, get food delivered or use any of the services offered by PickMe will be eligible for the discount.

Seylan Bank continues to focus on expanding their merchant partnerships to provide their customers with the best and most valuable financial service experience. Seylan Cards are recognized as an ‘essential card’ offering year-round promotions covering a wide variety of products and services, offering maximum value and maximum savings.

Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, operates with a vision to offer the ultimate banking experience to its valued customers through cutting-edge technology, innovative products, and best-in-class services. The Bank has a growing clientele of SMEs, Retail and Corporate Customers and has expanded its footprint with 173 branches across the country and an ATM network of 216 units. Seylan Bank has been endorsed as a financially stable organization with performance excellence across the board by Fitch Ratings, with the bank’s national long-term rating revised to ‘A (lka). The bank was ranked second among public listed companies for transparency in corporate reporting by Transparency Global and is now part of the S&P Dow Jones SL 20 Index. These achievements are a testament to Seylan Bank’s financial stability and unwavering dedication to ensuring excellence across all endeavours. For more information on products and services please visit www.seylan.lk.

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Traditional Hand Embroidery by Lakpahana

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It was in the early 1960’s that Mrs. Siva Obeyesekere, who was passionate about all things handmade, started 15 sewing centers in the Attanagalle and Maligawa electorate. About 500 women attended the sewing centers.

Her husband Senator James Peter Obeyesekere was the Member of Parliament for Attanagalle at the time. The women could help improve their family income by using their leisure time in sewing at home. This became a popular cottage industry.

At the sewing centers, she and her friend, Mrs. Lorna Manukulasuriya, trained women to make the most exquisite hand embroidered handkerchieves, pillow cases and baby shirts. Made from French lawn, these beautifully embroidered items often embellished with handmade lace eschewed sentimentality, nostalgia and beauty. The designs were of a Victorian era. These beautiful items were very popular and found a ready market overseas.

Lakpahana now showcases the beautiful hand embroidered items. Handmade does not mean cheap, it means beautiful and well made. Carefully hand embroidered hankies make ideal mementos or gifts from a bygone age. The stitching is so well done that both sides are just as good.

A cotton hanky is ideal to use on hot humid days. There are gents’ hankies, childrens’ embroidered hankies and ladies’ hankies. They are deal to keep in the handbag and far classier than common tissue. It is a gift of love.

Kandyan embroidery fascinated Mrs. Obeyesekere. A great granddaughter of Iddamalgoda Kumarihamy, who was considered a princess in her time, Sabaragamuwa designs and embroidery occupied a special place in Siva’s heart. She drew all these vivid recollections to create a tapestry of colour.

Kandyan style embroidery using specific designs, colours and materials have been used to turn out beautiful cushion covers, table mats, flags and bags. The embroidered betel bags consists generally of a centre design, floral or otherwise framed by three or more borders parallel to the edge of the item of the borders.

The inner most is always “Pala peti”, the “Liya wela”, “Hawadiya” or “Gal bindu” patterns. Most of the Kandyan embroidery uses chain stitch, centipede stitch, buttonhole stitch, feather stitch and simple cross stitch.

Obeyesekere worked tirelessly to revive traditional handicrafts. Her efforts led her to start a small shop in front of the Horagolla Samadhi. This shop was the precursor to Laksala and finally Lakpahana. All the painstaking efforts of one woman who wanted to create a Sri Lankan identity. She spent endless hours with craftspeople and immersed herself in the country’s craft. Her work is a tribute to our country.

Lakpahana showcases all these embroidery and patchwork items together with a fantastic collection of all that is handmade. The past makes a beautiful present. Lakpahana has been at the forefront of doing things the traditional way.

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