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Changing of the guard at John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH)

Posted on 09 December 2017 by admin

Changing of the guard at John Keells!

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera – Courtesy: The Sunday Times.

John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate, will see some significant changes at the top in the next 12 months including the expected ascension of Krishan Balendra as the new group chairman.

Krishan Balendra

Company sources said that while Mr. Balendra as chairman-designate has been announced internally, it was unclear whether he would take over the position of Deputy Chairman with the retirement of Ajit Gunewardene, current Deputy Chairman in end 2017.

The sources said that an announcement on the deputy chairman’s position on whether it would be continued or not is widely expected in coming weeks.

It would be a historic occasion where a father and son has and would (soon) assume this top position. Ken Balendra was the first Sri Lankan and iconic chairman of JKH for 10 years, recently releasing a book on his corporate life.

While Mr. Gunewardene steps down this month, JKH chairman Susantha Ratnayake, appointed in January 2006 and taking over from Vivendra Linthotawala, steps down in December 2018. The impending retirements of Mr. Ratnayake and Mr. Gunewardene were announced in November 2016 with the company also detailing its succession plan through the entry of Krishan Balendra and Gihan Cooray as executive directors in the same month.

The current board comprises Susantha Ratnayake (Chairman/CEO), Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman), Ronnie Peiris (Group Finance Director), Krishan Balendra and Gihan Cooray (both Executive Directors) and Messrs. Nihal Fonseka, Premila Perera, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Ashroff Omar and Amal Cabraal (all Non-Executive Directors).

The changes also see Ronnie Peiris, who launched his book “Tough journey; Great destination” at the Cinnamon Grand on Thursday before a high-profile audience including JKH directors, retiring from the company and his position being filled by Mr. Cooray.

With the retirement of two directors as at December 2017, these board positions are expected to be filled by two senior management staff.

A top official told the Business Times that the group has, over the years, developed a large pool of young, talented individuals and that the depth of leadership augurs well for the group’s future.

At present Mr. Balendra is the President of the Leisure Industry Group at the company and is also the Chairman of Nations Trust Bank PLC.

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Celebrating 20 Years Of The Business Today TOP Corporate Ranking – BT Options

Posted on 09 December 2017 by admin



Courtesy: Business Today.

Garuthara Sangarathnayen Awasarai, Venerable Theros, Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe, Ministers, Members of Parliament and distinguished ladies and gentlemen we warmly welcome you to the Business Today TOP 30 2016-2017 and Business Today Passionate.

Venerable Galboda Gnanissara, Thero, Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple, we are blessed by your presence here today.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Business Today top corporate ranking in the country, and also signifies the introduction of the new segment, Business Today Passionate that recognises individuals who are pioneers and trailblazers. They have transformed their respective industries and have taken the risk to venture out to the international market, bringing great pride to the motherland.

We are honoured to have Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, as our Chief Guest today and Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe for her valued presence. We appreciate that Hon Prime Minister and Professor Wickramasinghe are here with us today amidst a busy and pressing schedule. Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe have been our honoured guests since 2011 and it is with great interest that the audience awaits the Prime Minister's speech.

Throughout The 30 Years Explore Sri Lanka Has With Great Determination And Passion Promoted The Country To The World.

At a time when Sri Lanka is in a period of economic, political and social transformation, it is paramount that the country is led by a leader with the intellect, experience and dynamism as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is with pride that we welcome you here today.

We take pleasure in informing you that the event ceremony is being shown live on PEO TV, channel 20 and PEO TV Facebook. You can also watch on TSTV and Rewind TV during the next two days.

Our pioneering magazine Explore Sri Lanka completed 30 years. Having started in 1987, it is the only complimentary monthly magazine in the world to survive this long.

Mathi K Parthipan started as a Sales Officer of the publication. And, after the closure of the casinos, Explore Sri Lanka was taken over by Mathi K Parthipan and the staff in 1991, thus the magazine became completely self-funded and independent without any outside investment, due to our hardwork and passion. BT Options is owned and shares are held by BT Options staff.

Many clients who have been with since our inception, and who are in the audience today, will remember the manner in which we worked, and formed and maintained our relationships.

Throughout the 30 years Explore Sri Lanka has with great determination and passion promoted the country to the world. It is upon the success of our pioneering magazine that we were able to introduce new publications and also venture into other businesses. We always work with everyone. If you look at this event too, we invite everyone regardless of their position, in politics, the public sector or private sector. Whether they have been in high and influential positions, and no longer are or vice versa, does not matter to us. We will continue to show the same respect.

Business Today was the first magazine in the world to introduce syndication with Harvard Business Review. We also have exclusive syndication with Financial Times. Due to our longstanding and transparent relationship, HBR and FT have given us the free-hand and there are no restrictions.

In 2001, Business Today was listed in the book "Competitive Intelligence" as a source of competitive intelligence information in the global environment, along with the CIA, FBI, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal as well as the European Business Review to name but a few. We are honoured to have been mentioned in this book and be accepted among the global leaders in this sphere.

After a brief meeting with Lord Haseltine in Dubai, he flew his team to Sri Lanka in 2008 to visit BT Options and they were interested in entering a joint venture with BT Options. However, due to the global economic downturn it did not materialise, but such international recognition for the magazine has driven us forward to achieve more. 

Business Today top corporate ranking was started 20 years ago and was conceptualized by Dinesh Weerakkody. It is the first recognition of its kind for public listed companies in Sri Lanka. At first we took this as a fun exercise without realising its significance and importance. Later, Keith Bernard and Shiron Gooneratne also became part of the process. We continued every year amidst negative vibes that came our way.

Although they are no longer a part of the process due to their commitments in public listed companies, we acknowledge their contribution from the inception of the awards. And, we continue to seek their advice and assistance.

We must also thank Suren Rajakarier of KPMG Sri Lanka, for his continuous participation in the process.

At the time that we held our first Business Today award ceremony we could not afford to have a backdrop or even offer a glass of water to our guests. But we did not accept any sponsorships. Year on year we held the awards and the Business Today top corporate selection and the ceremony grew. In 1997, it was the Business Today TOP 10, today we have grown to select the TOP 30 corporates.

Many Companies That Are In The Business Today TOP 30 Are Not Advertisers. Companies Cannot Apply Or Pay To Be Selected…While Our Financial Commitment To The Award Ceremony Is Very High We Have Never Taken Sponsorships In Any Form. All Payments Are Made By Us.

The Chief Guest of the Business Today Awards has been the head of state or government.

Many companies that are in the Business Today TOP 30 are not advertisers. Companies cannot apply or pay to be selected. The ranking is purely based on their published financial information. Having said that, we welcome all to advertise with us, because we operate on advertising revenue only and it would serve well during trying situations.

While our financial commitment to the award ceremony is very high we have never taken sponsorships in any form. All payments are made by us.

Style, (Lowa Venas Kala Haki Kanthawa Obai) the revolutionary Sinhala magazine for women, which was started in the 1990s was way ahead of its time, Ms Otara Gunewardene and Ms Neelamani Jayawardana who are recognised in the Business Today Passionate will remember how we did our interviews and stories. Ms Otara Guawardene and Ms Neelamani Jayawardana were featured on the cover as well. Ms Otara Gunawardene had her own fashion page and though some advised her against being featured in a Sinhala magazine but she was bold enough to go forward. Style magazine had to be stopped due to poor advertising response. Yet, if we are to start the magazine again it would be high risk to have the same thought provoking editorial content.

We have been publishing Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines since March 2010 as a monthly publication. This was a result of our struggle to bring the production and printing to Sri Lanka since the 1980s. We have been making a monthly payment to the Airline since we started the production and printing of the magazine, we do not receive any payment or airline tickets from SriLankan.

We wish to thank Mr Ajith Dias, Chairman and Mr Suren Ratwatte, CEO for their continuous support and ensuring the success of the magazine. Response for Serendib can be seen globally as well as within Sri Lanka.

Our two renowned international titles are Domus Sri Lanka and Time Out Sri Lanka.

We have been using Apple since 1988, started reselling in the 1990s and opened BT Store in the early 2000s. Being in the Apple business is not a prestige for us as our publications are our main segment, as evident from our event today as well.

We are happy that many others have entered the Apple business in Sri Lanka. In the future we might be forced to become unauthorized Apple Resellers. But we will be able to provide stronger and better support and services together with better pricing.

At BT Store we recently introduced audio books of international best-sellers. There is much to learn from global figures, and their stories are inspiring. ‘Finding my Virginity', the new autobiography by Sir Richard Branson also speaks about Virgin Money and is a must-listen for all Sri Lankan bankers. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook is inspirational and is another audiobook that should be listened to.

In 2004, the late Sir Arthur C Clarke was awarded the Robert A Heinlein Award for outstanding published work in science fact or fiction inspiring the human exploration of space. However, since he was unable to attend, the Heinlein Society contacted Apple USA to find a reliable company in Sri Lanka to set up a direct conference link. BT Options was the only company able to establish the link using Apple technology and the 90 minute live presentation was a great success. Appreciating our efforts, the President and the Chairman of the Heinlein Society, David Silver wrote a letter of commendation to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the Board of Directors, which said, "Our particular compliments and commendations to one and only, very excellent and resourceful partner in Sri Lanka – BT Options." 

We Have Diversified Into Leisure And Have Ventured Into An Area That Many Have Never Visited Before. Arugambay In The East Coast Is One Of The Most Beautiful Places In The Country, And Is A Tourist Hub Unknown To Many.

BT Active is our fully-equipped private gym that is for the staff. However, many have come especially to the gym seeking membership and thus we have given access to members. We are looking at expanding but we only invest in the correct location with the correct pricing.

We have diversified into leisure and have ventured into an area that many have never visited before. Arugambay in the East Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and is a tourist hub unknown to many. We have been visiting Arugambay since the early 1990s. The people are multicultural and able to speak Sinhala and Tamil, with many being conversant in English as well. They are genuine and welcoming. Pottuvil is the last junction in Sri Lanka that branches off to Arugambay, Panama and Whisky Point. We simply love this area.

While we attempted to start a project many times before, our dream came true on May 24, 2015 with the opening of Paper Moon Kudils in Whisky Point, in partnership with P Partheepan. The hotel was completed in 93 days, hats off to the people and construction workers from the area that ensured that the property was completed on time. The project was completed without any contractors.

Arugambay Roccos was opened on May 18, 2017 in partnership with A M Naleem. We thank Minister Sagala Ratnayaka and our other guests for being present on that special occasion.

A M Naleem has been in the tourism industry in Arugambay for more than three decades. The buildings that were on the property were completely demolished and Arugambay Roccos was built according to a cube inspired design to provide a unique experience to guests.

The first location that we stayed in the 1990s is Tsunami, a name that was given to a property even before the term Tsunami was even known in the country. A M Naleem is the owner and we will be working with him on this property as well for the next season.

We Would Now Like To Thank Those Who Have Supported Us Since 1987. Our Appreciation To All Our Clients Who Have Advertised In Our Publications And Continue To Have Confidence In Us. Our Revenue Is Only Through Advertising Sales In Our Publications.

Both, at Paper Moon Kudils and Arugambay Roccos, the staff who are from the area have worked tirelessly ensuring that guests are given unforgettable experiences.

Arugambay is a unique location in the south-east of Sri Lanka. It is a place that provides wonderful experiences to guests because today's traveller is looking for that. Arugambay is not seasonal, because there is so much to see and do.

Our partners, A M Naleem at Arugambay Roccos and P Partheepan at Paper Moon Kudils are based there. Together with the staff who are all from the area, they ensure the smooth operation of the properties.

Paper Moon Kudils in Whisky Point is in Urani, which is a Tamil area, Arugambay Roccos in Ulla is a Muslim area and Peanut Farm in Panama, which is also known as the Anthima Gama, is a Sinhala area.

Gune has been operating Peanut Farm since the 1970s as a tourist property. His son Wijeweera together with his brothers Samaraweera and Jayaweera are currently operating there. It was our plan to start a convertainer luxury property including a swimming pool, solar power, eco-friendly environment and provide a livelihood for the people in the area. The aim was to open in June this year. However, progress was hampered, and we hope to open the property next season.

The natural sand dunes of Panama, are ideal for sand safari similar to that in the Middle East. What is also unique about this location is that you can see the ocean together with the endless sandy terrain.

We wish to thank Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister John Amaratunga, Minister, Sagala Ratnayaka and Minister Vajira Abeywardena, Mr Paddy Vithana and Mr Kavan Ratnayaka for their support to start the project in Peanut Farm.

We are looking forward to opening the property at Peanut Farm next season, as long as there is no disturbance from an unseen hand.

P Partheepan, A M Naleem and the teams from Arugambay Roccos and Paper Moon Kudils together with Gune and his sons are here in the audience today. Corporates and investors should look at venturing into this area. There are many state and private owned land to start projects. Large groups have started to open hotels in the area, and we request others to visit Arugambay, because everyone will benefit with increased business and opportunities.

Visitors generally travel from one surfing point to the next by tuk tuks and since elephants freely roam in the area they charge an elephant tax from the guests, for the added risk they take. The names of the surfing points generally indicate the character of the area, thus Elephant Rock and Crocodile Point reflect that these animals are frequent near those points, furthermore Whisky Point is derived from the Tamil word for the swirl of the waves and wind.

We have been able to gradually change the mindset that Arugambay is seasonal. By offering promotional rates we see guests arriving even during months that have traditionally been considered as off season. There is great potential in this area.

With the Government providing its support and encouragement to SMEs since the 2016 Budget, we are hoping that a development bank will be presented in Sri Lanka, so that companies such as ours can benefit.

If everything goes as planned we will be adding 60 more rooms for the next season.

We would now like to thank those who have supported us since 1987. Our appreciation to all our clients who have advertised in our publications and continue to have confidence in us. Our revenue is only through advertising sales in our publications and we do not offer contra agreements to any client. Those who advertise with us know that we always ensure a good response and value for money.

Ven Galboda Gnanissara Thero, Chief Incumbent of Gangaramaya Temple, we thank you for your unwavering support and guidance throughout the years. Thank you for your presence here with us today.

Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero, we appreciate your presence and support to us over the years.

Ven Diyapattugama Revatha Thero we appreciate your continuous support, which has been one of the reasons of the success of the company.

Ven Kirinde Assaji Thero, we thank you for your encouragement and long standing support to us.

We also thank Honourable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe for being our Chief Guest as well as our honoured guests since 2011.

Minister John Amaratunga, we thank you for your continuous support and for always coming to our event.

Minister Sagala Ratnayaka we thank you for being with us since the early 2000s. We appreciate your confidence and support given to us.

We thank Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Minister Vajira Abeywardena and Minister Harin Fernando for their support.

Mr Ravi Karunanayake, Member of Parliament, we thank you for your concern and continuous support.

Ms Sandra Perera, private secretary to the Prime Minister, we wish to thank you for all your support and kindness.

Thusitha Halloluwa and Ruwan Ferdinandez for being with us and, we have known them for more than 20 years.

We thank Mr Harry Jayawardena for his continuous support and confidence in us even before we started Business Today. He has come for the event every year and has always shown his concern for us.

Mr Manilal Fernando, thank you for being with us over the years especially during the difficult times in the 1990s.

We thank Mr Ajantha Seneviratne, CEO of PEO TV and Group CMO of Sri Lanka Telecom for insisting and persuading us to telecast the event live on PEO TV.

We thank Mr Nithi Murugesu for his guidance and advice.

Mr Charles De Silva and Mr A S Kaleel, for giving their properties to us and for their continuous support.

The concept, design and song selection for the event today, was by Glenda Parthipan with the support of BT Options team.

We congratulate the Business Today TOP 30 2016-2017 for their excellent performance and we hope that they continue to drive the economy with greater dynamism. We congratulate the Business Today Passionate for their great achievements and for instilling a sense of pride in all Sri Lankans. We thank everyone for being present here today and making this event a success.

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Radika joins Dipped Products Board as Executive Director

Posted on 09 November 2017 by admin

Radika Obeyesekere has been appointed as an Executive Director on the Board of Dipped Products Plc after joining the company as a Commercial Director.

She is an Associated Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM-UK) and holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing (CIM-UK). She is also an Attorney-at-Law, holding an LL.B (Hons) from the University of London. She worked as an Executive Director for the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Sri Lanka prior to joining Dipped Products Plc.

With the latest appointment, the Board of Directors of Dipped Products Plc comprises Mohan Pandithage (Chairman), K.I.M. Ranasoma (Managing Director), K.D.D. Perera, S.C. Ganegoda, M. Bottino, F. Mohideen,  S. Rajapakse, N.A.R.R.S. Nanayakkara, S.P. Peiris, Y. Bhaskaran (Alternate Director to Mr. D. Perera), K.D.G. Gunaratne, H.S.R. Kariyawasan, R. H. P.  Janadheera and R. Obeyesekere.

Courtesy: DailyFT


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ADB grants $ 200 million to Sri Lanka to develop 100 MW wind park to boost renewable energy

Posted on 24 October 2017 by admin

Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 08:59 pm SL Time, Courtesy: ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Manila: The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a loan of $200 million with sovereign guarantee for Ceylon Electricity Board to develop Sri Lanka's first 100-megawatt wind park, the Asian lender said today.

The Ceylon Electricity Board will provide $56.7 million toward the total project cost of $256.7 million. The estimated completion date for the project is the end of 2021.

"The new Wind Power Generation Project will not only provide access to a clean and reliable power supply in Sri Lanka, but also create an environment for further wind power development through future public-private partnerships," said Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, an ADB Principal Energy Specialist. "Diversifying the country's power generation through clean, renewable energy sources will improve the country's energy security and environment."

Sri Lanka boosted its national electrification from 29% in 1990 to more than 99% in 2016. Yet the power sector continues to struggle to meet the growing demand for an affordable and reliable electricity supply.

With the share of thermal (coal and oil-fired) power still accounting for two-thirds of power generation in 2016, there is an urgent need to develop clean energy sources such as wind and solar energy, reduce losses in the system, and boost energy efficiency.

While the remaining third of total generated power in 2016 was from renewable sources, most of this was accounted for by large hydropower facilities. Only about 8% comes from nonconventional renewable energy sources such as mini hydro, wind, solar, and biomass. The country's goal is to increase the share of these nonconventional renewable energy sources to about 20% of the total generated power by 2020.

Besides the wind farm, to be constructed on Mannar Island in Northern Province, the project will provide the associated infrastructure, such as internal cabling and access roads, energy dispatch control center, and reactors to manage voltage levels.

More generally, the project will also establish the procedures to enable the Ceylon Electricity Board-the executing and implementing agency for the project-to act as a wind park developer that can attract the private sector in future wind power generation. These include establishing cost benchmarks and conducting competitive bidding for future wind power projects, and managing the flow of intermittent wind energy through the power system.

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Rajah Abeyasinghe re-elected president, Sri Lanka Italy Business Council

Posted on 02 July 2017 by admin


Sri Lanka-Italy Business Council AGM

The Sri Lanka – Italy Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 18th Annual General Meeting at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on 22nd June 2017. His Excellency Paolo Andrea Bartorelli, Italian Ambassador to Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at this occasion.

D. R. P Abeyasinghe, Chief Executive Officer, Hydromec International (Pvt) Ltd was re-elected as the President of the Council. Mr. Abeyasinghe has a Mechanical Engineering background.  The latter part of his career however has been devoted to the marketing and commercial aspects of dealing in Earth Moving and Materials Handling Machinery and Equipment.

Abeyasinghe in his address highlighted the achievements of the Sri Lanka – Italy Business Council during the year 2016-2017 under his leadership. These included the organization of meetings with Italian Business delegations that visited the country during the period under review, including the Business Delegation that had accompanied the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Hon. Benedetto Della Vedova on his official visit to Sri Lanka. A Breakfast Meeting with Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka; Annual Members’ Night and the Italian Language Course run for Beginners & Advanced Learners were also highlighted.

His Excellency Paolo Andrea Bartorelli in his comments made at the Annual General Meeting reassured the Council of the continued support of the Italian Embassy in Sri Lanka to promote bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Italy.

Mrs. Sonali Liyanamana, Chief Executive Officer, Interglobe – Worldlink Air Services (Pvt) Ltd, and Mr. Anushka Polonowita, General Manager, Euro Sports Auto Lanka (Pte) Ltd., Subsidiary of Micro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. were elected Vice Presidents of the Council.

A Baur & Co. Ltd., Ally Weerasinghe Ltd, DFCC Bank PLC, JAT Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., Lanka Tiles PLC, Spear International (Pvt) Ltd., The Autodrome PLC, Walkers Tours Ltd. were elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.


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Posted on 17 June 2017 by admin


Courtesy: Sunday Observer.

‘Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017,’ organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, will be held on July 25 and 26 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo.

The two-day summit, which will be held under the title of ‘Execute – Transform – Realize’ will have eight thematic sessions, focusing on economic transformation through policy reforms, domestic and global economic headwinds and also how Sri Lanka can adapt to changing scenarios and succeed in a competitive environment.

During the two days, over 40 resource persons, consisting of high profile Cabinet ministers, policy makers, business leaders and academics will take their seats to share insights and also make recommendations on how Sri Lanka can transform its economy to realize its true potential by the right execution of plans.

The economic event is being held at a time, where Sri Lanka’s economy is navigating through a period of transformation, amidst global turbulence.

Growth has moderated, amidst a fiscal consolidation effort that promises macroeconomic resilience in the medium term.

Hence, executing transformational strategies will be essential to realize the economy’s true potential, a media release from the Chamber said.

The event is supported by some of the best corporate firms in the country. Sunshine Holdings PLC is the Platinum Sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank enters the fray as the Gold Sponsor, Fonterra Brands, the Silver Sponsor and Dialog Axiata, the Telecommunications Partner of the event.

Whilst Janashakthi Insurance, Prima Group, and Nestle Lanka join in as the strategic partners. OMD of OmniCom Media Group is the communications partner. 


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Canada notes strength and depth of relationship with Sri Lanka

Posted on 14 June 2017 by admin

Canada has noted the strength and the depth of its relationship with Sri Lanka.

The High Commission of Canada, as Patron of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council (SLCBC), hosted the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SLCBC. A key stakeholder in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Canada, the SLCBC operates under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and engages with the High Commission of Canada to further enhance trade ties between the two countries.

The High Commissioner of Canada, Shelley Whiting, speaking at the event stated that ‘the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council has been a longstanding partner of the High Commission in promoting Trade. I look forward to innovative initiatives that will showcase the Council’s activities in Sri Lanka and add value to its membership’. She further noted the strength and the depth of relationship between the two countries, the market potential in Sri Lanka and the country’s growth and the opportunities to further trade ties.

Addressing the members, the newly elected President Harith Jayasuriya, Director/Chief Marketing Officer, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd thanked Chandev Abhayaratne, the outgoing President, for the immense contribution made towards the growth of Sri Lanka Canada Business Council during the last 2 years.

Jayasuriya highlighted the Council’s main objectives as to promote Bilateral Trade, Investment, Technical & Economic Co-Operation, Tourism and Services between Sri Lanka and Canada. He further stressed the need for SLCBC to take leadership in promoting investment and trade initiatives between Sri Lanka and Canada.

The AGM was followed by a networking reception for the local business community, stakeholders in the government and international organizations. The key note address of the evening was delivered by Ms. Jeevani Siriwardena, Director General of the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka on the agreement between the EDB with Canada’s Trade Facilitation Office (TFO). TFO is a non-government organization in Canada working to source products from developing countries, such as Sri Lanka, and supporting small and medium scale enterprises. The presentation focussed on the nature of the agreement, opportunities such as market orientation programs and market visits, and how Sri Lankan companies can avail themselves of the benefits of the agreement.

The membership of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council is comprised of approximately 60 companies across diverse sectors such as logistics and tourism, imports, exports, manufacturing and services amongst many others. The primary focus of the Council is to facilitate trade between Sri Lanka and Canada, encourage partnerships, exchange of information between the two countries and promote investments. The Business Council also engages with partner organizations in Canada to promote the socio-economic conditions in Sri Lanka.

The event is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of the Canadian High Commission in Sri Lanka. The TCS is the Canadian government’s network of Trade professionals that promotes Canadian goods and services, facilitates innovation and R&D, as well as builds networks between Sri Lanka and Canada.

Courtesy: Colombo Gazette.


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Business Today TOP 30 2015-2016: A NEW SRI LANKA

Posted on 09 December 2016 by admin



Business Today ranks the 30 best performing corporates for the financial year 2015-2016. As Sri Lanka emerges as a ‘New Sri Lanka', the private sector has an immense responsibility to propel the growth of the country to the next level.

The Sri Lankan economy has always had great potential. The direction the country takes has been dependent on the Governments that have been elected to take  Sri Lanka forward. Our history has shown that the economic journey of the country has varied, in the sense that, at times it has been inward looking and at other times outward looking. While there are positives in both directions, Sri Lanka is yet to embark on a balanced approach that will enable the country to reach its full potential.

The previous decade saw the economy stabilising due to the improvement in the enabling environment and massive scale infrastructure development projects taking place. With the election of the incumbent Government, a change in the economic direction was anticipated. While economic activity may not have been apparent initially, the required mechanisms and strategy were being formulated with much deliberation. With the new policy direction, Sri Lanka aims to draw investments that will fulfill the country’s growth goals.

The Government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken a strategic approach of being more market friendly where “multidisciplined economic strength, local competitiveness, international trade and investments”, would be the main factors. In this conducive environment where an even playing field is gradually being established, the private sector needs to be proactive in venturing into new areas of growth.

While the apparel industry has penetrated into overseas markets, there is a need for other sectors to do the same. Sri Lankan companies need to look beyond the domestic market. In addition, the private sector should provide employment and ensure continuous job creation to fulfill demand as the economy grows. The Government’s main responsibility is to ensure that the enabling environment is conducive for business, not to do business or bring business; that is the responsibility of the private sector.

The global economy has seen further setbacks, with uncertainty in Europe, the slow down in the Chinese economy and instability in the Indian economy as well as the overall challenges in the Middle East and other parts of the world. While these have had an effect on the performance of Sri Lankan companies, due to the instability in major export markets, as a whole, the Sri Lankan economy has remained stable. This is due to prudent and strict regulations, and policies that have enabled the country to perform despite external pressures.

The Government’s Main Responsibility Is To Ensure That The Enabling Environment Is Conducive For Business, Not To Do Business Or Bring Business; That Is The Responsibility Of The Private Sector.

It is time for businesses both small and large to focus on a broader perspective without always looking inward and understand the long-term objectives of policy decisions so that the country benefits as a whole. It is also necessary to seek opportunities in non-traditional sectors. Many companies in the private sector are diversifying, but it is into the same category. Sri Lanka is yet to see massive scale development in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. With the Government focusing more on public-private partnerships and exiting from non-core businesses, the opportunities that are present for the private sector are immense.

With the advent of the open market economy, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) – both bilateral and multilateral – have always proved to be the most effective way of opening up markets for Sri Lankan businesses as well as driving investment in a mutually beneficial manner. With Sri Lanka currently in the process of implementing such agreements, it will enable the country’s businesses to perform in a more competitive environment, which will result in greater innovation, value addition and higher quality services and products. The country should not look at such endeavours in a negative manner, but positively. To remain relevant in this globalised era, such strategic moves are necessary.

While weaknesses within the public sector need to be addressed, it is also the responsibility of the private sector to follow the proper procedures rather than exacerbate a situation that needs to be rectified. This fine balance must be maintained.

Business Today this year made the decision to select the 30 best performing corporates in Sri Lanka to showcase the diversity of the private sector as well as to provide the opportunity for companies that have not yet entered the Business Today rankings, to do so, thus recognising their contribution to the economy. The private sector is no longer confined to a selected few, but is a diverse spectrum of businesses. With a ‘New Sri Lanka’ emerging, the business sector will need to venture out on its own and secure investment without looking towards the Government to provide concessions or benefits. There are those who have achieved much and can lead the private sector to maximise its potential and be the engine of growth.

We congratulate the Business Today TOP 30, 2015–2016 for their excellent performance and it is our sincere wish that they continue to perform while seeking new markets thereby taking Sri Lanka to the world.

The Business Today TOP 30 is strictly based on the published information of companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange. The Business Today TOP 30 have been selected on the basis of their financial performance during the financial year ending December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2016 with the assistance of KPMG Ford Rhodes, Thornton & Co.



  DIALOG AXIATA 22.600  
  SAMPATH BANK 21.850  
  NESTLE LANKA 19.150  
  BUKIT DARAH 17.700  
  VALLIBEL ONE 17.450  
  HAYLEYS 15.950  
  SEYLAN BANK 14.250  
  DFCC BANK 11.800  
  AITKEN SPENCE 11.150  
  CT HOLDINGS 9.850  
  LANKA IOC 6.750  
  SOFTLOGIC 4.400  
  SINGER (SRI LANKA) 3.850  

* Central Finance Company and DFCC Bank received the same number of points. However, Central Finance Company has been ranked at number 20 as the company recorded a higher PAT.

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World Export Development Forum – 12-13 October, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

wedfWEDF 2016 – Trade for Success: Connect, Compete, Change!

12-13 October 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The 16th edition of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, helps businesses to navigate the new trade and development landscape.

WEDF is a unique global conference and business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking platform dedicated to supporting trade-led development.

As the flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC), WEDF brings together over 600 business leaders, policymakers, heads of trade and investment support institutions and international trade development officials to address international competitiveness for developing countries.

This 16th edition of WEDF is co-hosted by ITC and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, through the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB).

ITC is the only United Nations organization focusing exclusively on small and medium-sized businesses, which are now recognized as a cornerstone for development by the United Nations as well as by the G7 and the G20.

ITC helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow and compete internationally, building on business opportunities.

Sri Lanka, a hub for South Asia

With an average GDP growth of 6.7% over the past several years, Sri Lanka offers new trade and investment opportunities at a strategic location at the crossroads of important maritime routes of the Indian Ocean.

The high-performing economy is underpinned by a skilled, educated workforce. Many multinationals have a home in Sri Lanka.

Over 80% of Sri Lankan businesses are SMEs. They feature prominently in Sri Lanka’s economic blueprint, which sets out ambitious goals to create one million new jobs through wider participation in the global economy

EDB is the key agency that promotes linkages between Sri Lankan businesses and international markets and partners.

Why attend WEDF 2016?

WEDF 2016 is designed for decision makers that drive business innovation and internationalization.

Meet us in Sri Lanka for high-level panel discussions, practical workshops and B2B meetings to:

  • Get the latest on consumer trends, business strategies and trade policies to navigate today’s trade environment;
  • Connect with experts on trade issues such as standards, trade facilitation and logistics;
  • Find solutions to overcome key trade barriers and increase competitiveness;
  • Sign new business deals with partners from Sri Lanka and around the world.

New realities for international business

The consumers of tomorrow are shifting.

By 2030, two thirds of the middle class will be in Asia, 14% in Europe, and 7% in North America, according to the Brookings Institution. Africa, too, is changing fast. The African Development Bank reports that Africa now has the fastest-growing middle class, with almost 35% of Africa’s population. This is double what it was less than 20 years ago.

As a result, trade patterns continue to change. There are growing transactions within and between the South, such as between Asia and East Africa, and Latin America or between African countries themselves. This trade will continue to be anchored within regional and international value chains.

The nature of the consumer is also transforming. Consumers increasingly emphasize quality, standards and labour and human rights in their purchases of goods and services. There is greater attention on transparency and traceability within value chains. The way that consumers purchase and consume goods and services is also changing, with technological innovations and falling transportation costs.

The economic power of women and youth has yet to be tapped. This ‘third billion’ of women, including entrepreneurs and young consumers, are becoming viable economic actors in the new business reality.

Trade and business policies must transform to meet these new realities. The continued dispersal of production, a focus on reducing non-tariff barriers to trade, and the implications of private standards will dominate the trade topography. The balancing act between the multilateral trading system and megaregional trade agreements will also define the landscape.


As megaregional agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership emerge, the voice of business is essential to shape competitiveness strategies. Trade facilitation and logistics remain key drivers of improved connectivity.


Digital technologies are reshaping how we trade, opening up new opportunities to compete in the global economy.

Entreprises can reach new consumers around the world directly, and integrate more quickly and higher up the value chain, thanks to e-commerce and technologies such as 3D printing.


Standards have become a gateway for businesses to enter international markets. Certification of standards and regulations may include technical specifications required by producers in the supply chain or health, social or environmental standards demanded by consumers or governments.

Talk Business, Do Business

B2B meetings will be facilitated in the following sectors: Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs); tourism; specialty food, including tea and spices; processed food; apparel; rubber and manufacturing.

At WEDF 2015, organizations signed declarations of intent valued at US$ 80 million.

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SRI LANKA: Rs. 8.7 billion tender to construct four pipelines

Posted on 01 August 2016 by admin


The Government will next week award a tender valued at more than Rs. 8.7 billion for the construction of four pipelines to carry oil from the Colombo harbour’s Dolphin Pier to Kolonnawa. Bidders from India, Malaysia, China and the United States have been shortlisted to construct the pipelines, each six-and-a-half kilometres long, to replace the 69-year-old oil pipelines in use, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman T.C. Jayasinghe said.

The Cabinet has given approval for the project and the tender will be awarded to the lowest bidder by the tender board on Friday, he said. Two pipelines are for jet and crude oil while the others are for refined petrol and diesel. “The existing pipelines are old and their capacity is less; hence, the transportation of oil takes long resulting in the CPC having to pay demurrage at times. There are also leaks in some places leading to wastage,” he explained.

The pipelines would run underground so there would be no logistical issues such as having to relocate people. The project was likely to be completed in one-and-a-half years, he said. Mr. Jayasinghe said the company which won the tender would have to undertake the US$ 60 million (Rs 8.7 billion) project using its own funds which the government would pay back in 12 years after a three-year grace period.

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