This year Sri Lanka will dispatch its largest ever business and trade delegation targeting the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka is also scheduled to unveil its new country branding & slogan for its ICT sector in London next week.
The highest foreign direct investment in the history of Sri Lanka has been recorded during the year 2017, according to the Finance Ministry. The foreign direct investments received by the country during 2017 is around US$ 1.9 billion (Rs. 290 billion), a four-fold increase from 2016. The first tranche of US$ 300 million granted for the lease of the Hambantota harbor is also included in 2017 figure. The previous highest FDI received was US$ 1.7 billion in 2014.
The Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan has made arrangements to host the 7th South Asian Conference on Sanitation and it will be attended by governments of the SAARC regions along with donor community ,development partners civil society, private sector community based organizations, researchers, professionals schools children and grassroots activists.
SACOSAN (South Asian Conference on Sanitation) is a government led biennial Convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC country which provides a platform for interaction on sanitation. SACOSANs are intended to develop a Regional Agenda on Sanitation, enabling learning from the past experiences and setting actions for the future. The SACOSAN process is instrumental in generating the political will for better sanitation in the Region.
Sanitation has become the most challenging social service priority in the South Asian Region. 1 in 3 people worldwide lack adequate sanitation facilities. The total population practicing open defection in Asia exceeds 700 million. In 2003 South Asian countries met in Dhaka Bangladesh for the first ever major conference on sanitation. Realization that the South Asian Conference on Sanitation is a great opportunity to inspire grass root level activists and to mobilize political will in narrowing the sanitation gap in the region. SACOSAN influenced has spread to the other regions in the world and as a results similar movements have been established such as EASAN for East Asia, AFRICASAN for Africa and LATINOSAN for the South America. In addition Pakistan, India and Bangladesh conduct their own national conferences for sanitation namely PAKOSAN, INDOSAN and BANGLASAN so SAN is a well know brand name in the region to promote the importance sanitation through mobilizing commitment of stakeholders including government, political, civil society private sector and donors.
The process of South Asian Conference on Sanitation SACOSAN is the Collaboration amongst SAARC countries to accelerate progress in ensuring access to adequate sanitation in the region. SACOSAN started in 2003 with the realization that a large number of un-served people lacking proper sanitation are living in South Asia.
At the first South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) held in 2003 in Bangladesh declared that SACOSAN to be introduced to SAARC countries in the South Asian region as a process in order to review progress achieved in the sanitation sector in each country. With the realization that large number of un-served people living in South Asia SACOSAN used as the plat form for resolving regional sanitation issues. This is a biennial government led process and attended by relevant ministries of the governments of South Asia. First conference was organized in Bangladesh in 2003, second in Islamabad Pakistan in 2006 and third in 2008 in Delhi, India. 4th in Sri Lanka, 5th in Nepal and SACOSAN has returned to Bangladesh in 2016 to host the 6th conference. The conference has been able to mobilize political will, donor support and commitment of all stakeholders in mobilizing resources to address one of the pressing issues of South Asia.
The SACOSANs have been a great platform for the governments, regional partners, support agencies, practitioners and professional agencies to engage in constructive dialogue and in agreeing commitments and collective effort to foster regional collaboration in pursuit of meeting the sanitation challenge in the region.
The 13th Exporters Forum held at the Export Development Board (EDB) last week provided a platform to discuss many issues faced by the exporters. The issues ranging from certain provisions in the New Inland Revenue Act (IRA) to land allocation for export projects were widely discussed at the forum. Several exporters who were present at this forum raised questions on the IRA. They expressed their concerns on the removal of the provision that made import substitution deemed exports under the previous Act. The new Inland Revenue Act does not recognize import replacement as deemed exports that prevents a sizable amount of foreign exchange being drained out of the country each year widening the trade deficit further, they claimed.“Under the previous Act when goods are manufactured for the local market that impedes imports it was considered as deemed exports recognizing the value of import substitution that drains valuable foreign exchange from the country. However, under the new Act this provision has been removed,” an exporter said.
An economic corridor development plan with a potential to generate 1.2 million new jobs by 2030 is being proposed by a recent study of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).In keeping with the Sri Lankan government’s development strategy, Vision 2025, the ADB has initiated a comprehensive development plan for the Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor (CTEC) to address some of the development challenges faced by the country, ADB’s Colombo office announced on Friday.Pilot economic corridor development initiatives will focus on an east-west corridor that can flourish by taking advantage of existing international gateways, such as the Bandaranaike International Airport and Colombo Port, which are located at the western end of the corridor. The proposed Central Expressway, which is about 280 kilometers long, will act as the spine of the corridor.
Expanding its commitment to fostering effective ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance and communication among Sri Lankan listed companies, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) today formalized an arrangement with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to provide guidance to listed companies on ESG disclosures in Sri Lanka. Dr. Aditi Haldar, Director, GRI South Asia and Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the CEO of CSE were present at the event.
European delegates visiting Sri Lanka from the European Parliament painted a rosy picture of the country’s ascendance to its GSP plus trade programme, and said they were committed to continuing the reduced tariff scheme.“We are very keen to cooperate with our Sri Lankan partners and friends to keep GSP plus alive, and we are pretty certain that it will happen,” said Jan Zahradil, the Chairperson of the EU Parliament’s Committee on International Trade.
Sri Lanka's Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) focused on exploring opportunities to work together and co‐operate with each other to foster a deeper and more strategic relationship.
A new Board of Directors has been appointed at SriLankan Airlines in order to accelerate the restructuring process and create the enabling environment to proceed with entering into a Public-Private-Partnership with a strategic investor, the Ministry of Finance said.
The outgoing Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has says Sri Lanka makes its best contributions to the international community when it leads from the center, rather than positioning itself in a manner “either to be taken for granted, or to remain isolated.