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HEADLINES - 18th September 2018


Policies promoting e-commerce and digital transactions key for Sri Lanka to enter Fourth Industrial Revolution: Hans – Daily Mirror

The government should embrace policies and regulations to promote e-commerce and digital financial services for the country to enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which would be the enabler of inclusive growth, Axiata Group Berhad CEO South Asia Region and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said.


Online Govt. trade portal set to fail if structural problems go unchecked: Leading researcher – DailyFT

Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal (SLTIP), while widely lauded, recently came in for some stern but constructive criticism at last week’s Sri Lanka Economic Summit where a leading researcher pointed out that the “Government is set to fail” if a host of structural issues go unchecked. Addressing a panel discussion aimed at improving the effectiveness of trade and investment reforms, Verité Research’s  Research Director Subhashini Abeysinghe highlighted several pertinent points with regard to how and where the SLTIP is currently failing in its objectives.


CCC to host Ambassadors from six European nations – Ceylon Today

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is to hold the second interactive session of its initiative titled Power of Interaction this Thursday, 20 September 2018, with the aim of bringing together Delegates of the European Union and the United Kingdom, to provide the Sri Lankan private sector an exclusive platform of interaction.


SL ranks 76 at latest Human Development Index – Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka ranked 76 out of 189 countries at the latest Human Development Index (HDI) with a value of 0.770 under the category of countries with ‘High Human Development’, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said. The HDI-2018, which was compiled by the UNDP and released on Friday said the value of Sri Lanka has been increased by only 0.78 per cent from 1990 to 2017.


Drought grips 16 districts affecting over 700,000 people – The Island

More than 700,000 people have been affected by the drought in 16 districts and the government has taken many measures to provide relief to them, the Disaster Management Centre ((DMC) says. Jaffna District has borne the brunt of the drought with more than 370,000 people affected.


Indian grant for 5,000 tonne cold storage in Sri Lanka – EconomyNext

ndia Monday signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to grant 300 million rupees to build a 5,000-metric ton temperature controlled warehouse to reduce post-harvest losses and price swings in agriculture. The facility will be in Dambulla in the Central Province, a key farming region.


VAT on imported fabric reduced to 5 percent – Daily News

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera considering the requests made by the stakeholders in the fabric industry has reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported fabric to 5%. Minister Samaraweera signed the gazette notification yesterday.


Big boost for foreign investment into listed companies – DailyFT

Foreign investments into listed companies are set to get  a big boost following the recent amendment to the Land Restrictions on Alienation Act. Previously under the original legislation Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Act No. 38 of 2014, the transfer of title of any land situated in Sri Lanka was prohibited if such transfer is (a) to a foreigner; or (b) to a company incorporated in Sri Lanka under the Companies Act, where any foreign shareholding in such company, either direct or indirect, is 50% or above; or (c) to a foreign company. However this Act was amended via the Land (Restrictions on Alienation) (Amendment) Act No. 21 of 2018, enabling foreign entities to purchase freehold land in Sri Lanka if the entity is listed on the CSE. Therefore, the restriction of 49% foreign shareholding on listed companies if the listed companies hold freehold land has been removed.


Lankapak 2018 concludes with Rs.10Mn initiatives launched to boost SME packaging – LBO

Sri Lanka’s Lankapak 2018 concluded over the week-end with strong Indian participation and 10 million rupees initiatives launched to boost SME packaging, competitiveness in the island. “Printing and packaging are important elements in branding Sri Lanka to the global markets, especially for our SMEs striving for international markets,” said Rishad Bathiudeen,  minister of industry and Commerce addressing the launch of Lankapak 2018, the 37th International Packaging & Printing Exhibition. “Realising this, we have launched new initiatives to strengthen packaging for our SMEs recently.”


54% of global labour will require up-skilling by 2022 – Ceylon Today

According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs Report’ released yesterday, approximately 54% of all Sri Lankan employees will require significant re- and up-skilling by 2022 with agile learning capabilities. The report also highlighted that policymakers should update labour policies to match the realities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Global stocks wobble as trade war worries deepen – EconomyNext

AFP - Stock markets were uneasy and the dollar fell Monday as investors girded for another round of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods. Traders had late last week welcomed US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's offer to meet officials from Beijing to avert an all-out trade war.


Rupee hits record low for 4th straight day – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee touched a fresh low of 165.10 per dollar on Monday due to higher dollar demand from importers and banks to facilitate foreign bond outflows amid exporters who were reluctant to sell the US currency, market sources said.


Bourse slips to near 3-week closing low in dull trade – DailyFT

Reuters: Shares fell slightly to a near three-week closing low on Monday as investors sold manufacturing and banking stocks in dull trade, and the rupee hit a fresh low in its record-setting spree.


Secondary market bond yields spike to two month high – DailyFT

The fresh trading week commenced on a negative note, as the secondary bond market witnessed aggressive selling interest yesterday as yields spiked to levels last seen two months ago on certain maturities across the yield curve.


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