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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cinnamon Life launches second residential tower in Sri Lanka
Cinnamon Life launches second residential tower in Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Life will be game changer

Sri Lanka’s most iconic mixed development project, Cinnamon Life, announced the launch of ‘The Suites at Cinnamon Life’, the second residential tower to be constructed as part of a 4.5 million square foot integrated resort by Waterfront Properties (Private) Limited, a member of the John Keells Group.
At the time of launch, pre-bookings for ‘The Suites at Cinnamon Life’ have exceeded 15%, whilst over 50% of the floor space of the first residential tower ‘The Residence at Cinnamon Life’ has already been sold.
Construction on the integrated resort project is continuing at a steady pace, backed by the efforts of a consortium of contractors headed by Hyundai Engineering and Construction. With an estimated total cost of US$ 850 million, the Cinnamon Life project represents the single largest private sector-led investment in Sri Lanka to date.
Comprised of 196 luxurious apartments, the second residential tower will rise 39 stories to a height of 136 meters and will include a comprehensive suite of facilities including an elegant swimming pool, modern gymnasium, steam and sauna rooms, and a landscaped podium and roof-top featuring breath-taking views of the island’s commercial capital.
Roshanie Jayasundera Moraes, Chief Marketing Officer/Executive Vice President for the Property Group at JKH commenting on the launch said: “We are pleased to launch the second residential tower ‘The Suites at Cinnamon Life’, which will comprise of 192 units of two bedroomed apartments, and four penthouse units. We decided to launch the second tower after the tremendous success on the sales of the first residential tower ‘The Residence at Cinnamon Life’. The pre bookings for ‘The Suites’ has also been very encouraging. An investment in an apartment at Cinnamon Life will give investors a greater value addition due to the integrated nature of the project.
Situated on prime waterfront property in the heart of Colombo, the Cinnamon Life integrated resort is expected to become one of the city’s most iconic architectural landmarks. The eagerly anticipated project is conceptualised as a ‘Life Capital’, housing an 800-room luxury Cinnamon hotel, an experiential and entertainment haven, residential apartments, state-of-the-art office spaces, high-end retail mall, a wide variety of food & beverage offerings, ballroom, conferencing, theatre and banqueting spaces with capacity for 5000 pax designed to cater to MICE tourism.
Parallel to the launch of ‘The Suites at Cinnamon Life’, the developer also announced the launch of the ‘Cinnamon Life Show Apartment’, enabling prospective buyers to gain a first-hand look at the stylish designs and amenities being built into its residential towers.   
The project continues to drive unprecedented interest, both as a valuable investment opportunity as well as an ideal residential location with convenient access to all of the city’s commercial and recreational hotspots and featuring stunning backdrops of the city and the sea.   
The Cinnamon Life project is designed by globally renowned Architect, Artist and Engineer, Cecil Balmond, a visionary in the field of architecture famous for his pioneering work on internationally acclaimed properties such as the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London and the CCTV in Beijing.

The Property arm of John Keells Group, has successfully executed prominent landmarks such as Monarch and Emperor at Crescat City; Onthree20; and its latest completed project, 7th Sense - Gregory’s Road.
Saif Yusoof, Managing Director, EFL Sri Lanka (R) receives the LEED Gold certificate from Aazim Nafaiz, Director Carbon Solutionz. Also in the picture are (L-R) Nanda Abeysekera (Associate – Carbon Solutionz), Jagath Pathirana (CEO/Director - EFL Sri Lanka) and Shiran Dias (General Manager - HR & Administration - EFL Sri Lanka)
Saif Yusoof, Managing Director, EFL Sri Lanka (R) receives
the LEED Gold certificate from Aazim Nafaiz,
 Director Carbon Solutionz. Also in the picture are (L-R) Nanda Abeysekera
(Associate – Carbon Solutionz), Jagath Pathirana (CEO/Director - EFL Sri Lanka)
and Shiran Dias (General Manager - HR & Administration - EFL Sri Lanka)
Leading freight forwarder EFL recently received top honours for its sustainable warehousing design with accreditation as Sri Lanka’s first LEED Gold warehousing facility. With a vision for long term sustainability, EFL designed its state of the art Colombo warehouse in compliance with LEED Gold standards and received the nod from the accrediting body recently.
LEED, more formally known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the leading benchmark in green building that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. LEED-certified buildings are recognizable by their resource efficiency alongside minimal usage of water and energy. They also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and as an added benefit, minimize cost.
The 100,000 square foot warehousing facility is energy efficient and sustainable with minimal impact on its surroundings. The state of the art building handles over 400 CBM of goods a day and manages a turnaround of 25 trucks on average to support the exports of some of the country’s largest apparel manufacturers. The challenge was in ensuring that the 500+ staff based at this facility were also accommodated comfortably in a modern working space, says Shiran Dias, General Manager - HR & Administration of EFL. “We were very determined to take the right steps from the design stage and brought in the best consultants, gradually adding more areas aiming for the highest possible certification.”
During the certification process the facility was awarded 73 points in the USGBC LEED rating system, thus fulfilling the requirement for a Gold certification. The building scored very well on all the categories under consideration including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design. The building was commended in particular for scoring highly in the Energy and Water categories which is owing to a highly efficient VRV cooling system and a lighting system that maximizes the utilization of natural light.
In addition, a solar PV installation on the roof of the building is the biggest of its kind in Colombo city. The building was awarded maximum points for energy efficiency as it saves more than 50% energy in comparison to the energy use of a conventional building. The solar panels supply nearly the entire energy requirement of the building.
Carbon Solutionz, a green building design consultancy based in Colombo facilitated the design process. Backed by a team of local and international consultants, Carbon Solutionz helps organizations reduce energy consumption and build sustainable practices. Aazim Nafaiz, Director Carbon Solutionz praised EFL’s commitment to making a success of this mammoth undertaking.
Commenting on the accolade EFL Sri Lanka Managing Director Saif Yusoof said, “Our warehouses aren’t seen as just the infrastructure that services our global operations. We were very keen on making the space as conducive as possible to meet the needs of our teams based here and this recognition has only strengthened our resolve to ensure that more of our spaces are built this way.”

EFL (Expo Freight) is a leading provider of supply chain solutions across 20 countries and over 55 cities. Founded in 1982, EFL is headquartered in Sri Lanka and is ranked among the top five forwarders in the Indian Subcontinent and is recognised as an expert in fashion logistics.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Nara Thai Launches In Sri Lanka
Nara Thai Launches In Sri Lanka

Nara Thai brings it exquisite flavors to the shores of Sri Lanka


Voted as one of Thailand’s best restaurants since 2007, Nara Thai brings it exquisite flavours to the shores of Sri Lanka. The renowned fine-dining restaurant opened at No. 03, Deal Place, Colombo 03. They will open their doors on August 26, 2016 for lunch and dinner from Monday to Sunday.

Talking at the dispatch, Co-originator of Nara Thai Cuisine Co., Ltd - Yuki Srikarnchana expressed: "We are exceptionally glad to speak to our nation Thailand, by bring the Journey of Thai Taste abroad, It is our pleasure share with people in Colombo the real authentic taste of Thai cuisine.”

Nara Thai brings it exquisite flavors to the shores of Sri Lanka
Nara Thai brings it exquisite flavors to the shores of Sri Lanka
Shafraz Anees, Managing Director Nara Thai Sri Lanka expressed: "We are exceptionally pleased to acquaint Nara with the recognizing nourishment brains of Sri Lanka Our group here intends to serve our visitors with the best administration offering a delectable scope of strong flavors and tastes that will undoubtedly energize their faculties. We look forward to meeting all our guests in the coming months and treating them to an enjoyable and memorable experience with us.”

The franchisee, Sri Lankan based Everbright Holdings Pvt. Ltd., is renowned for specializing in the food and beverage industry in the country with a bevy of renowned global names under its belt. Nara Thai being its latest venture caters to a refined and mouthwatering Sri Lankan palette. This summer, Sri Lanka will experience the best of Thailand at Nara Thai with tantalizing flavors that are sure to bring you back.  


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sri Lanka register historic series win against Australia
Sri Lanka register historic series win against Australia
Sri Lanka beat Australia by 229 runs in the second match of the three-match Test series at the Galle International Stadium to clinch the series as the hosts also won the first match in Pallekele.

The 229-run win came after lunch on day three and was the 10th-shortest Test match ever for balls bowled (1,297) when all 40 wickets have fallen. Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera finished with match figures of 10-99. Australia, chasing 413, started on 25-3 but were all out for 183 as their problems against spinners were exposed.

The teams move to Colombo now for the third and final test from next Saturday. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

from left:Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director General,
Ministry of Health, Prof. Oliver A. IIeperuma,
Co-Chair of Conference on Environmental Challenges,
Mr. Vivek Vikram, Director of S.D. Promo Media, India,
Mr. Ravi Kumudesh, President of Sri Lanka Society for
Medical Laboratory Science, President of Sri Lanka
Society of Medical Laboratory Practitioners

Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo 2016 kicks off on 18 August at SLECC

Over 150 internationally reputed pharmaceutical and medical companies from 10 countries will come together to showcase state-of-the-art Analytical, Scientific, and Biotechnology related instruments at the Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo.
Serving as a platform for over 500 brands, the landmark event will also serve as an unprecedented hub for networking and knowledge sharing, drawing participation from leading international business leaders, government officials, doctors, policy advocates, industry professionals, scientists and researchers.
Running from 18 August to 20 August at Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Center (SLECC), the Expo will commence with an inauguration by Minister of Science, Technology & Research, Sri Lanka Hon. Susil Premajayantha and Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Sri Lanka Hon. Champika Ranawaka.
Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Health
Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Health
The exhibition is organised by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine in concert with the Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science, Institute of Quality and Productivity Management, Sri Lanka, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon and S.D. Promo Media Pvt Ltd.
Intended to serve as a gateway towards comprehensively and sustainably improving the quality of equipment available to Sri Lankan hospitals, pathology labs, research institutes, pharma and food industries, universities, material testing labs, and trade suppliers, the event will link stakeholders with international leaders in Hospital and Surgical Equipment, Rescue & Emergency Equipment, Medical Disposables, Hospital Furniture, IT Service Providers for Hospital, Medical Waste Management, and Facility Management & Support Services.
In connection to the main exhibition, a further two-day symposium organised by the College of Chemical Sciences (CCS) of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon (I.Chem.C) will also take place at the same venue on the theme “Environmental Challenges for Sustainable Development: The Role of Chemists”.
Mr. Vivek Vikram, Director of S.D. Promo Media, India
Mr. Vivek Vikram, Director of S.D. Promo Media, India
Commencing 18 August, the conference will identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of value to government, academia, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers working to develop more sustainable and inclusive societies.
Speakers will present evidence and share knowledge aimed at spreading a deeper understanding of current and emerging challenges to the Environment in Sri Lanka owing to improper chemical management, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of current regulatory frameworks, and identify potential migratory and interventional actions towards a sustainable environment.
Rounding out the symposium will be a full day conference on the theme: “Harmonizing Science, Engineering and Technology towards Quality Medical Laboratory Services” – an influential event ultimately aimed at streamlining supply of quality, innovative products through process improvement and continuous dialog between the industry and laboratory professionals. 
The Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo and its connected events is organised S.D. Promo Media Pvt. Ltd, a leading trade promotion organization based in India and serving the needs of laboratory, Scientific, Analytical, Biotech, Education, Pharma, and Medical sectors for clients across the globe.
It is the first Indian company to deliver comprehensive, multi-faceted services to laboratories and the wider scientific community related to enhancing the visibility of clients through the provision of internet tools such as web based directories and other online promotional methods integrated with off-line tools like exhibitions, conferences, seminars and road shows.
Having developed primary expertise in India, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia, S.D. Promo Media has been the driving force behind numerous success stories for its clients in China, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Germany.
Organizers anticipate that the 2016 events along with the conference themes will not only provide an opportunity to commercially revitalize the laboratory and medical industry in Sri Lanka but will also inspire a new ideas, research and synergies.


For information visit:www.srilankalabexpo.com or www.srilankamedicalshow.com or email: info@sdpromomedia.com

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Herath bowls historic Sri Lanka win in first Test
Herath bowls historic Sri Lanka win in first Test
Sri Lankan Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath dismissed five Australian wickets including one from skipper Steven Smith as the hosts claimed a historic Test win over Australia on the tense final day of the rain-hit first Test in Pallekele on Saturday (June 30 2016). 

Sri Lanka stunned top-ranked Australia by 106 runs. This is only Sri Lanka’s second win over Australia on the longest format of the game.

21-year-old Kusal Mendis paved the way with a masterful 176, while 38-year-old Rangana Herath applied the finishing touches, with 5 for 54 in Australia's second innings, four of those wickets coming on the last day. For Australia, who began the day on 83 for 3 and was bundled out for 161, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. Not only was it the first defeat under Steve Smith's captaincy, but it came against the No. 7 team, who had just been beaten 2-0 in England.

Final scoreboard between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele.

Sri Lanka 1st innings 117 all out (D de Silva 24, K Perera 20; Josh Hazlewood 3-21, Nathan Lyon 3-12)
Australia 1st innings 203 all out (A. Voges 47; Rangana Herath 4-49, Lakshan Sandakan 4-58
Sri Lanka 2nd innings 353 all out (Kusal Mendis 176; Mitchell Starc 4-84)
Australia 2nd Innings (Overnight Australia 83 for three)
The next Test of the three-match series begins August 04 in Galle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Magnolie__Wildeiche-Sherry
Magnolie__Wildeiche-Sherry
Fine Furniture Sri Lanka, a leading interior product retailer, brings to the local market the strengths of such unique exclusive furniture brands which will awake the emotions, relates to the local culture, gives the comfort, making it a reality in harmony.

Everyone is different, with different ideas about their living space. Therefore furnishing styles are always influenced by someone’s lifestyle or personal needs. Making a home feel like the haven, means choosing the right furniture to suit your style, requirement and space, this is unique to each individual and their home. Whether it is down to earth, creative, purist or romantic, the possibilities for creating an individual style are endless.

With ‘exclusive’ partnership with luxurious European home brands such as KOINOR, PACIFIC GREEN, Loddenkemper, Rauch and ArteM, Fine Furniture Sri Lanka was created in Colombo by the German structural engineer Martin Klement on identifying the shifts in lifestyles and demands of new property owners in Sri Lanka. Fine Furniture came to provide specialty solutions with cutting edge European design for interior spaces. Today, Fine Furniture occupies a niche in the local market while leading a new outlook for living spaces in Sri Lanka.

Martin Klement_Hacker
Martin Klement_Hacker
Commenting on the vision of Fine Furniture, Martin Klement, Founder and CEO stated “When we started Fine Furniture a few years ago, it was answering an obvious need for great kitchens, interior product and furniture that represents the new lifestyle of the modern Sri Lankan and the market responded to us exceptionally well because of the product quality and longstanding success globally as well as the design aspect. Hence at Fine Furniture we promote an aura of modern home culture where people invest on long-lasting, quality products with outstanding design, function and performance for their homes for a new way of living.”


Other brand names under the company’s luxury home range include German appliance brands such as Bosch, Miele and De Dietrich, all of which hails synonymously with unique identity, and established with over 30 years of success.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Apartment Owner Placing Foundation Stone
Apartment Owner Placing Foundation Stone
Signature 7 a stunning new development offering luxurious three bedroom apartments with 2300Sqft of living space in the heart of Nawala.
Signature Living – a new and dynamic entrant to the real estate market today (12/07) announced the breaking of ground of their second development project ‘Signature 07’ in the bustling city of Nawala-Koswatte, within the space of one year. With the aim of providing a new look to vertical living in Sri Lanka. ‘Signature 07’ will be ready for ownership by December, 2017, enabling customers to enjoy a private, yet sumptuous space that recreates the concept of modern apartment living.
Located conveniently in Nawala-Koswatte, the 14-unit apartment complex will include two apartments’ per floor and each apartment will feature three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, spacious dining and living areas along with Hacker pantry complete with appliances and wet kitchen. All apartments will also be fitted with separate maid’s quarters. Residents will also be able to enjoy the panoramic view from the roof top lounge which includes a BBQ area and it will also include a fully equipped rooftop gymnasium. The site will also have 24 hour security along with special living features such as sound insulation, ROCA a premium range of bathroom fittings made in Spain, solid teak timber doors, dedicated charging ports for electric cars and the option of mechanised car lift for one additional parking space, all in all, everything an apartment dweller can wish for and more.
Ground Breaking Signature 07
Ground Breaking Signature 07
In addition to providing all the comforts of apartment living, Signature Living will be the first developer to introduce high efficient solar panels for the individual apartments as well as the common areas, enabling their customers to benefit with free electricity upto 25 years. All apartment units are also fitted with LED lighting and energy efficient air-conditioning to minimize impact to the environment.  
"With this newest range of apartments, Signature Living continues its proactive expansion in prime locations across the legislative capital of Sri Lanka," said Mr. Ramanarajan, Managing Director, Signature Living. "By aggressively strategizing, we capitalized on an opportunity to obtain property that will be valuable for years to come."

All Religious Customes Followed
All Religious Customes Followed
"We are thrilled to launch our second project ‘Signature 07’ and we look forward to developing a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with each of our customers, by providing them with value and reaching beyond their expectation. Innovation and product development is at the core of our business, making sure that each project is better than the previous. We strive to continuously add value to our clients by providing them with the highest quality and unmatched specifications. We are continuously seeking opportunities to keep up with the demands of our clients at Signature Living, which is why we are constantly striving to bring vertical living outside the box to our customers," added Mr. Ramanarajan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

delegates
left to right:
Mr. Wan - Representative for University Placement in the USA;
 Mr. Shiral Lakthilaka 
- Coordinating Secretary to His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena; 
His Excellency Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, Malaysian High Commissioner, 
High Commission of Malaysia; Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala - 
Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees; Dr. Nuraj I. Rajapakse - 
Chief Executive Officer / Chief Academic Officer,
 American Institute of Merit (AIM); Dr. Chandra Mathy Birapan - 
Chief Academic Officer,  Brighton ADP Pte Ltd; Dr. Hon Wei Min - 
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, KDU College, Malaysia; Mr. Chris Barker - 
Marketing Manager, Brighton ADP Pte Ltd and Mr. Murtaza Jafferjee - 
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of JB Securities (Pvt) Ltd.
Taking education to new heights and across the breadth of the world, the American Institute of Merit (AIM) opens its campus doors to potential students in Sri Lanka. Those who seek exceptional academic standards as well as boundless opportunity to advance their knowledge will find AIM to be the ideal solution that will fast track their needs. AIM is affiliated to KDU College in Malaysia. A University with a strong history, KDU Malaysia has been in operation delivering the American Degree Transfer program (ADP) for over 32 years enabling students to transfer to highly ranked universities across the United States and other countries such as Canada, UK, Australia & New Zealand.
The guaranteed transfer option to 25 universities in the US and Canada and other prestigious institutes across the globe, is also a salient feature of the institute which will be opening up a plethora of prospects for the students. Offering study options in Business, Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Humanities, AIM presents a vast array of concentrated majors that range from Architecture to the Social Sciences which gives students access to varied pathways.
CEO/CAO of AIM Dr. Nuraj I. Rajapakse shared his thoughts on the establishment of the institute stating that they believe in “Quality education at an affordable cost that makes students truly future-ready, especially in a time and age that a solid edification is vital to successful careers.”
Ms. Susan Ooi, Principal and CEO of KDU College Malaysia offered her best wishes at the momentous occasion, “We are excited to offer a world class education to Sri Lankan students and look forward to welcoming more American Degree Transfer Programme (ADP) students who have all the experience and intelligence they need to get ahead in a competitive and fast paced world.”

The American Institute of Merit had its grand unveiling on the 17th of July in Nawala, housed in a central and convenient location which includes ample parking as well as modern amenities which will help students keep pace with changing education trends and requirements. These facilities include libraries; laboratories and an English Language Teaching Centre which will equip students with the tools that they need to build a solid foundation. Helping to cement that foundation is the exceptional faculty that has been handpicked to develop the minds of the exclusive groups of classes in which individual attention can be given to each student. Possessing the necessary qualifications to guide and mentor the students, the esteemed panel employs a combination of innovative teaching techniques and practical real world knowledge, and is a vital pillar in the framework of what makes AIM an outstanding education provider.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016 final
Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016 final
Portugal defeated France in the final of 2016 European Championship to win their first ever major international tournament. after substitute Eder scored in extra time to give his team a 1-0 win over France.

Portugal star Ronaldo was taken off on a stretcher off in the 25th minute after he failed to recover from a heavy challenge by France's attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet. He returned to sit on the bench, his left knee bandaged, and limped onto the pitch to encourage his teammates at the start of both periods of extra time.

Portugal will pocket €25.5 million in prize money while runners-up France will get €23.5 million.  
Portugal wins Euro 2016 final
Portugal wins Euro 2016 final

Monday, July 11, 2016

Foreign operations or joint-ventures that have entered the market and the industry trend (cumulative numbers). Source: BOI Sri Lanka 2009-2015 statistics.
Foreign operations or joint-ventures that have entered the market
and the industry trend (cumulative numbers).
Source: BOI Sri Lanka 2009-2015 statistics.
Growing Services sector, upcoming Infrastructure Investments and increased global investor interest slots the country favourably against others to move up the transparency rankings over next few years.

JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2016 is out and Sri Lanka has made its debut in this highly-credible and well-known index. Compared to similar market sized countries like Myanmar (ranked at 95) and Vietnam (ranked at 68), Sri Lanka (ranked at 69) is a stronger debutant and better placed to move up in the next (2018) assessment given the reforms being rolled out by the government and increasing interest of international investors into the market.
Sri Lanka and Vietnam are likely to compete for moving into the semi-transparent category – ahead of others in the pack – from their low-transparency status today. Both countries are reforming several sectors and attracting international investors. Myanmar too, is off the block and is one of the fastest improvers, but has a long journey to make through the cluster of countries with opaque real estate sectors.

Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of a promising period of rapid economic growth and social development, driven largely by investments into infrastructure across the country as well as continued growth in the services sector, which now contributes 58% of the country’s GDP. Revival signs in the economy can be seen from the promising GDP growth expected in the next few years.
According to the Asian Development Bank, the GDP growth rate is forecast to reach 5.3% in 2016 from 4.8% in 2015. Moreover, World Bank recently listed Sri Lanka at 107 (out of 189 countries) in terms of ‘ease of doing business’, as opposed to its 2015 listing at 113. Policy changes proposed in the Budget 2015-16 are expected to positively influence private and foreign investments.

Ms. Gagan Singh, Chairperson – Jones Lang LaSalle Sri Lanka
Ms. Gagan Singh, Chairperson –
Jones Lang LaSalle Sri Lanka
Political stability coupled with a business-friendly environment facilitated by the current government has helped restore investors’ confidence. The country is now focused on long-term strategic and policy development changes to ensure long-term economic growth.
The government’s infrastructure push has led to an expansion of the construction industry over the past few years. Expansion and modernisation of Colombo’s port as also the development of other ports along with an improvement in the country’s road network has helped the logistics industry.
Moreover, domestic companies have showed stable growth and the number of foreign companies entering the island has seen a surge compared to 2009-10. Among the multinationals entering Sri Lanka, players in the food processing (see graph) and IT sectors too have shown interest in opening up offices, which bodes well for the economy.

The government’s plans of turning Sri Lanka into the most competitive economy in South Asia is expected to result in an incremental demand for office space from BPOs, financial, accounting and outsourcing companies.
According to the Travel and Tourism Index 2015, Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism competitiveness jumped 18 ranks over the past four years, driven by the strong government focus on the tourism sector, remarkable infrastructure growth as well as enhanced marketing and promotional efforts for the country as a whole. This sector is expected to grow further with the new budget of 2016 proposing promotion of the MICE (meeting, incentives, conferencing and exhibition) sector.

Outlook

Sri Lanka’s office and retail markets are seeing activity by reputed global names. This activity is reflecting through the growth in office and retail space off-take in last four quarters. With limitations of quality space available, the CBD sub-market rents have increased by 7-10% y-o-y in almost all grade-A office buildings.
Respected establishments like HSBC, Standard Chartered, Pearson Group, IDP Education, Firstsource, GSK, Red Cross, Uber, VFS (visa services), Zebra Technologies, Keangnam, among others, have already set up their base in Sri Lanka. Information technology leaders like IBM, Microsoft, and Cisco already have a base here. Renowned retail brands like The Body Shop, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and others, are doing business in Sri Lanka largely through the franchisee route and more brands of the same league are actively studying this market. H&M is already active for buying and sourcing.
Diverse base of international companies is evident by established fast moving consumer goods giants like Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, and Unilever; service sector leaders like  JLL, Tata Group, AIA, Allianz, and industrial- technology- logistics companies like Siemens, Ericsson and Maersk among others along with the best hospitality brands of ITC, Taj, Hyatt, Hilton, Shangri-La and Marriot.

Sri Lanka’s concern could be boosting foreign direct investment (FDI) quickly, maintaining a sustainable growth of the private sector and exports as well as addressing the urgent need to realign public spending with the nation’s immediate needs. The change of government has brought expectations of more transparency and more efficient utilisation of resources.

It is crucial now that the government implements necessary reforms to provide an improved investment climate conducive to driving more FDI and ushering in growth of the private sector – with a structured framework to drive investment.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lionel Messi sentenced 21 months prison term in tax case
Lionel Messi sentenced 21 months prison term in tax case

Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi gets 21-month prison term in tax case

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, was given a jail term for defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.5m) between 2007 and 2009. 

the court said that the sentence can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court. Under Spanish law, a tax prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are very unlikely to go to jail. 


The court has also ordered Messi to pay a fine of about €2 million ($2.2 million), while his father was dealt a €1.5m fine for the tax evasion.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Central Bank Sri Lanka
Central Bank Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Central Bank releasing the monetary policy review for April 2016 on Tuesday said it has decided to maintain current policy interest rates as the Monetary Board was of the view that the current monetary policy stance is appropriate.

Accordingly, the Monetary Board has decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank unchanged at 6.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively while the Statutory Reserve Ratio remains at 7.50 percent.

The Central Bank noted that the short term money market rates and other market interest rates have risen reflecting the tight monetary conditions in the economy and expected the expansion of monetary and credit aggregates to moderate from the second quarter of the year.

The recent increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate and the removal of certain exemptions applicable on VAT and the Nation Building Tax (NBT) are expected to have a one-off impact on inflation, while the supply side disruptions due to prevailing adverse weather conditions could exert some upward pressure on inflation in the immediate future, the Bank said.

The full statement follows: 

According to provisional estimates of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), the Sri Lankan economy grew by 5.5 per cent, in real terms, in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the growth of 2.5 per cent recorded in the last quarter of 2015. Economic growth was mainly supported by the expansion of Industry and Services related activities, which grew by 8.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively, during the first quarter of 2016 in value added terms. Meanwhile, Agriculture related activities recorded a moderate growth of 1.9 per cent during this period. The growth rate recorded in the first quarter was broadly in line with expectations for the year.


As anticipated, inflation increased in the month of May reflecting the impact of the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and the removal of certain exemptions applicable on VAT and Nation Building Tax (NBT), as well as the supply side disruptions due to adverse weather conditions.


Accordingly, the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI, 2006/2007=100) based headline inflation increased to 4.8 per cent, year-on-year, in May 2016 from 3.1 per cent in the previous month, while the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100) based headline inflation also increased to 5.3 per cent, year-on-year, in May 2016 from 4.3 per cent in the previous month. Core inflation as measured by both CCPI and NCPI also increased in May 2016 mainly reflecting the impact of revisions made to the tax structure by the government.


In spite of these transitory price movements, inflation is expected to moderate in the period ahead and remain in mid-single digits in the medium term supported by appropriate demand management policies.


In the monetary sector, the year-on-year growth of broad money (M2b) decelerated to 18.2 per cent in April 2016 compared to 18.9 per cent recorded in March 2016. The expansion in credit to the private sector and the government remained key drivers of broad money growth, while credit to public corporations recorded a repayment during the first four months of the year. 


Credit extended to the private sector by commercial banks grew by 28.1 per cent in April 2016 on a year-on-year basis, although in absolute terms, disbursements in April 2016 were limited to Rs. 27.4 billion compared to Rs. 87.7 billion in the previous month. Short term money market rates displayed some stabilisation, while the upward trend observed in other retail market interest rates continued reflecting the gradual transmission of the monetary policy measures that were taken previously, amidst low levels of rupee liquidity in the domestic money market.


On the external front of the economy, the deficit in the trade account contracted by 2.4 per cent during the first four months of 2016, on a year-on-year basis, as the decline in imports was greater than the contraction in exports. Earnings from tourism were estimated to have increased by around 18.4 per cent during the period from January to May 2016, while workers’ remittances increased by 4.7 per cent during the period from January to April 2016. Gross official reserves were estimated at US dollars 5.6 billion by end May 2016.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

everjobs
everjobs
everjobs.lk, Sri Lanka’s fastest growing job portal, recently embarked on a mission to give job seekers in smaller cities and towns to springboard to brighter career prospects with its Town Day campaign.

Sri Lanka Labour Force Statistics shows around 400,000 Sri Lankans are unemployed – which is 4.3 percent of the total labour force. Yet, a striking shortage of talent hinders economic development and prosperity. Around 40% of employers say lack of experience, counting internships, is the main barrier for entry level vacancies. To play its part against this trend, everjobs has devised its everjobs Town Day[TM] campaign. The goal is to support job seekers in smaller cities and towns in to boost their employability. The everjobs team is visiting the areas to encourage and assist young people to register with the site, and help to identify best fit opportunities.

Felix Lienau, Country Manager and Managing Director, everjobs Sri Lanka said, "I am very proud that this excellent initiative is being launched in Sri Lanka for the first time. I feel it is a huge step towards our vision of empowering job seekers with the skills and experience necessary to shape their future. The everjobs Town Day campaign aims at encouraging thousands of job seekers to pursue their professional ambitions with strong determination and passion to foster their dreams. I am firmly convinced that by giving wings to the ambitions of this talent pool in small cities and towns, we can transform their dreams into reality."


Beyond the everjobs Town Day, everjobs aims to fight youth unemployment by providing 'readiness to work' initiatives and work-based training opportunities all over Sri Lanka, by tapping into Universities and educational institutions. 

About everjobs

everjobs.lk is a job portal currently operating in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. Launched in 2015, everjobs aims to become the leading job portal in fast growing markets finding the right match for both, employers and candidates. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE addressing the staff at the opening ceremony of the new CAKE LABS Operations Centre
Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE addressing the staff
at the opening ceremony of the new CAKE LABS Operations Centre
Silicon Valley based tech company CAKE LABS recently unveiled their new Operations Centre, a state of the art facility in the Iceland Business Centre in Colombo 03. The facility that has been designed using latest industry trends such as open floor plans and hot-houses to aid communication, as well as sleeping rooms and games areas to facilitate relaxation, signifies the emphasis the company places on the key role operations plays in customer adoption of the CAKE restaurant technology platform.
A room for when employees need a break or some peace and quiet
A room for when employees need a break or some peace and quiet
The move comes in conjunction with the record growth in the customer base of the company this year. Commenting on the growth, CEO Mani Kulasooriya said, “This has been a huge growth year for CAKE. The total value of transactions processed through our system this year alone will exceed all of our previous years combined. Furthermore, if the current growth rate continues, we will double our customer base in 2016. The expanding of our operations is a direct result of this success, as they are the key to increasing our market share.”
According to Mr. Kulasooriya, maintaining quality of service while scaling has been the key to expanding the customer base, and the operations division has played an enormous role in this.
The Games Room
The Games Room
“Operations has been a cornerstone to securing traction in the market,” said Shanil Fernando, CAKE LABS SVP Engineering and MD, Sri Lanka. “You can certainly capture a market with a great product like ours, but you can’t retain your customers unless the product is stable. The POS for a restaurant operator is a mission critical system to run their restaurant. If the operators are encountering errors, then they will switch. That is where our proactive support team comes in.”
The CAKE LABS operations team distinguishes itself from its peers through its proactive approach. They studied how Tesla monitors their cars remotely and how Boeing proactively monitors live jet engines, and built a unique piece of technology where the team can identify potential errors in the field before they even take place. The team then performs fixes on the system before crashes occur, avoiding potential system-down time.
CAKEsters at work in the main work area
CAKEsters at work in the main work area
Furthermore, CAKE LABS has employed several engineering initiatives to maintain stability. One such initiative was the new payment gateway, as nothing is more damaging to an operator’s business than being unable to process payments. The new gateway employs redundant servers in multiple cities on the East Coast and West Coast of the United States, as well as multiple third party payment processors, so that it can keep processing payments even when infrastructure may be down in a given geography or when third party processors are down.


With these factors combined, CAKE LABS seems poised for exponential expansion in the coming months, both in terms of its number of operators, and the capabilities of the team. 

CAKE LABS

CAKE LABS (Pvt) Ltd is the Sri Lankan based engineering and operations engine behind the integrated restaurant technology platform CAKE. CAKE Corporation, based in Silicon Valley (Redwood City, CA, USA), is a part of the fortune 500 company Sysco (NYSE: SYY).


Friday, June 17, 2016

Kumudhini Rosa (Senior Advisor, GIZ VTN Project) at the podium. P Ranepura (Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training), H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe (Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training), Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives), and Dr. A. U. C. Athukorala (Chairman, National Apprentice and Industrial Authority) at the head table.
Kumudhini Rosa (Senior Advisor, GIZ VTN Project) at the podium.
P Ranepura (Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development and
Vocational Training), H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic
 of Germany to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe
(Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training),
 Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives),
and Dr. A. U. C. Athukorala (Chairman, National Apprentice and
 Industrial Authority) at the head table.
The establishment of the Sri Lanka-German Training Institute (SLGTI), a landmark project initiated by German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka, was announced at a press conference attended by Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training and HE Dr. Juergen Morhard, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The SLGTI, situated in Kilinochchi, is scheduled to be officially opened on 18 July by HE President Maithripala Sirisena.

Kumudhini Rosa - Senior Advisor, GIZ Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka (VTN) Project introduces the Sri Lanka - German Training Institute (SLGTI) to be opened in July 2016.
Kumudhini Rosa - Senior Advisor, GIZ Vocational Training
in the North and East of Sri Lanka (VTN) Project introduces the Sri Lanka
 - German Training Institute (SLGTI) to be opened in July 2016.
SLGTI is part of the Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka (VTN) project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (German Development Bank- KfW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is co-funded by the State Secretary for Migration of the Government of Switzerland. The VTN project was initiated in 2012 with the goal of improving demand oriented vocational training in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

SLGTI will function under the purview of the National Apprentice Industrial and Training Authority of Sri Lanka (NAITA). It is recognised as a national level training institute with equity of access for all citizens of Sri Lanka, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The centre as a common meeting point will facilitate the development of a mutual understanding and appreciation among students about the diverse cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.
 The institute will offer high quality vocational training in sectors of automobile technology, construction technology, food processing technology, mechanical engineering and electrical and electronic technology. The medium of instruction will be English.

H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe (Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training), Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives)
H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe
(Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training),
Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives)
“These sectors have been identified for the opportunities available within them for well trained, skilled labour,” said Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training. “We are confident that SLGTI will provide the best opportunity for war affected youth in the Northern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka as well as youth from other parts of the island to develop and enhance valuable industry-specific knowledge and market oriented skills. This will significantly improve their chances in a competitive job market.”
The training for an annual intake of 200 students will be provided at NVQ Levels 4 to 6 in keeping with the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) framework. To prepare students for this, 14 vocational training centres offering NVQ Levels 1-3 training have been identified as satellite centres in the Northern and Eastern provinces. These satellite centres have been upgraded to meet the standards set by SLGTI.

SLGTI will also cater to young people with G.C.E. O/L, G.C.E. A/L, and NVQ Level 3 and 4 qualifications. The institute’s training staff was supervised in the Training of Trainers (ToT) process by German Consultants; an initial batch of 22 trainers completed the ToT programme in June 2016. During the first years of operation an experienced German Principal will ensure the transfer of international best practices to the operation and administration of the institute.

The state of the art SLGTI facility in Kilinochchi is built on 25 acres of land allocated by the Sri Lankan Government. 8.4 million Euros was allocated through the KfW (German Development Bank) for construction, supply of equipment, machines and teaching materials. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has granted an additional 8 million Euros for technical assistance through GIZ. GIZ, in turn, has taken on the task of providing technical assistance, capacity development of qualified managerial staff, and trainers.   
At the launch Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, HE Dr. Juergen Morhard noted that the opening of SLGTI was a step forward in strengthening the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Germany via committed and continued investment in the country’s development process.

“The GIZ has consistently expressed interest in improving vocational training in Sri Lanka,” added Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo, Country Director for GIZ in Sri Lanka. “Over the years we’ve established a good rapport with the Sri Lankan government in providing technical and vocational training to help young people do better; SLGTI is a significant result of this effort.”
For over 50 years GIZ has provided services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development, utilising experience in a wide variety of areas including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. GIZ services are utilised by the German government, governments of other countries and a number of global institutions including the European Union and the United Nations. In 2014 GIZ’s business volume exceeded two billion euros, with the presence of GIZ personnel in over 130 countries around the world. GIZ has been active in Sri Lanka since 1956, engaging in the sectors of education, social integration, private sector development and vocational training.

Sri Lanka and Germany share a rich history of cooperation in skills development spanning over five decades. Beginning with the establishment of the Ceylon German Technical Training Institute (CGTTI), the Apprentice Training Institute (ATI), the Sri Lanka German Railway Training Institute (SLGRTTI) and the Farm Mechanisation Training Centre (FMTC), to introducing the dual system and standardising training programmes, Germany continues to play a prominent role in Sri Lanka’s vocational training sector. Currently, Germany is one of the most important donor and technical partner for vocational training in the country. 

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