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BUSINESS NEWS

Lankan Agri Products for Singapore.

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 14-04-2024 |
Claude Gunasekera

Singapore’s Food Safety Agency officials explore local food processing firms
A delegation from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), the competent authority responsible for food safety and security in Singapore, visited Sri Lanka from the 25th to the 28th of March. The delegation was headed by Dr. Abdul Jalil Abdul Karder, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Operations), along with two other officers from the Joint Operation Division of the SFA.

The purpose of the visit was to conduct pre-inspections of slaughterhouses in Sri Lanka that have applied for licenses from the SFA in Singapore, with the objective of assessing the potential of Sri Lankan companies to be approved as sources of poultry products for Singapore.

For Sri Lanka to export poultry products to Singapore, it is imperative for the country to meet the stringent requirements set out by the SFA. In this regard, facilitating this process, the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) organized additional visits for the SFA delegation to a rice processing mill, a fruit and vegetable processing center, as well as a seafood export company.

In collaboration with the SFA, the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore, the Department of Animal Production & Health (DAPH), and the EDB undertook efforts aimed at promoting Sri Lankan products, particularly poultry and rice, in the Singaporean market.

Applications for licenses from Sri Lankan poultry processing and export companies, facilitated by the DAPH, are currently under evaluation by the SFA. Additionally, samples from various rice processing mills were submitted to the SFA for further assessment by potential clients. During their visit, the Singaporean team also held discussions with the EDB Chairman Dr. Kingsley Bernard, and other officials of the Board. These discussions revolved around existing export opportunities and enhancing trade relations between the two nations. Representatives from the Sri Lanka Food Processors Association and the Sri Lanka Fruit & Vegetable Association also joined the deliberations.

The visit of this delegation marks a significant step towards strengthening trade ties between Singapore and Sri Lanka, understanding the international quality and safety requirements for exports while considering opening doors for Sri Lankan poultry products to enter the Singaporean market and expanding market for other Fisheries/ Agriculture products in Singaporean market.

Informative Webinar on available renewable energy projects in Kwazulu-Natal Province in South Africa

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 03-04-2024 |
The Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka
Export Development Board (EDB) and the Gauteng office of Trade and Investment Kwazulu-Natal, organized an informative webinar on “Available renewable energy projects in Kwazulu-Natal” for the Sri Lankan renewable energy companies on 26th March 2024.

Mr. Suminda Mendis, the Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pretoria and Ms. Anoma Premathilake, Actg. Additional Director General of Sri Lanka Export Development Board welcomed all the participant and introduced the objective of this webinar to the audience.

Ms. Donnee Kruger, Manager of Gauteng office of Trade and Investment Kwazulu-Natal explained the current energy crisis in South Africa and solutions. With that she introduced “Energy one stop shop” which provides a single window facilitation process for energy projects in South Africa. She further explained the current energy environment and opportunities in South Africa.

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pretoria invited two guest speakers who are in the field of renewable energy in South Africa. Mr. Deoline Subramany and Ms. Michelle Visser of ART Solar company and Mr. Leo Williams from Photon Energy South Africa presented their engagements and their capacities for producing renewable energy in South Africa. They mentioned that they would like to collaborate with Sri Lankan companies.

The Sri Lankan companies who were part of the webinar engaged on the discussion and requested information on the tariff, concessions and approval process for the South African projects.

Ms. Thiloka Perera, Second Secretary – Commercial of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria, and Ms. Indumini Kodikara, Director – Export Services, EDB thanked all the speakers and participants for joining for the webinar. Ms. Kumudini Irugalbandara, Assistant Director, EDB attended to all the background work to implement this successful webinar in collaboration with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria.






Watawala Plantations Powers Community Progress with Key Infrastructure Investment

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 03-04-2024 |
March 18, 2024: Sri Lanka’s leading diversified agribusiness company, Watawala Plantations PLC, announced a Rs. 1.86 million investment towards the installation of a dedicated electricity transformer, ensuring reliable power for Nakiyadeniya's residents and its palm oil mill.

The installation of the new transformer will help to reliably cater to growing demand for electricity for both the Nakiyadeniya Palm Oil Mill and the fast-growing residential communities in the region. To date, all residents in the area, and Watawala's facility have been sharing a single 630 kVA transformer.

"This investment not only signifies our commitment to the social and economic wellbeing of the communities we operate in but also underlines our dedication to sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility," said Senior Manager Mill Operations, Thanushka Kaluwa Handi of Watawala Plantations PLC. "Ensuring a stable and reliable electricity supply lays the foundation for the continued development of this community, and the further enhancement of the quality of life for the people of Nakiyadeniya".

Home to the first oil palm estate to be established in Sri Lanka in 1968, the community in Nakiyadeniya has been a prime beneficiary of the industry, with many residents working directly in oil palm cultivation and processing. The benefits of this crop cultivation has led to a sustained increase in livelihoods and quality of life around Nakiyadeniya.

The increased electricity consumption over the years, due to new dwellings and heightened usage by both the mill and area residents, prompted Watawala Plantations to seek a solution that would ensure uninterrupted power supply without any voltage drops.

Recognizing the importance of reliable electricity for the wellbeing of the community and the efficiency of the mill, the company proactively obtained all necessary approvals from the CEB and funded CEB’s installation of a dedicated transformer for the area's residents.

Watawala Plantations PLC is a leading Sri Lanka agribusiness company and part of the Sunshine Group of companies. Renowned for its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, Watawala Plantations is the first company in South Asia to receive the coveted RSPO certification for palm oil. The company prioritizes community welfare, focusing on enhancing education, health, and livelihoods while aligning its operations with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, striving for a harmonious balance between economic success, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

US TRAINING FOR COLOMBO PORT

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 03-04-2024 |

The Commercial Law Development Program of the USA conducts training to SLPA.

• Facilitated by The Colombo Plan and Rebel Group, supported by the U.S. Embassy and funded by the State department.
• Training included: Port sustainability, Port PPP, (landlord and BOT) models and Port finance, automation in a competitive global port industry.

The Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the United States Department of Commerce (DoC), implemented a capacity building programme in Colombo to enhance knowledge and reinforce best practices to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) senior staff.
The programme was funded by the Department of State (DoS) and implemented by the CLDP with the facilitation of the Colombo Plan and the U. S. Embassy in Colombo.
The full day programme attended by forty senior engineering, legal and administrative staff of SLPA covered the areas of public/private partnerships, landlord models and best practices in sustainability initiatives including the modernizing of SLPA terminals, electrification and automation to ensure Sri Lanka’s competitive edge as a hub in the region.
The event was facilitated by Mr. Wim Welvaarts, senior port consultant from, Rebel Group (The Netherlands) and Rohan Masakorala lead consultant from the Colombo Plan Maritime Administration Programme on capacity building, while the program was designed and coordinated by Ms. Lindsey Scannell Senior Counsel, CLDP, and Mr. Maxwell Gruber, Senior International Program Specialist, CLDP. Mr. Romesh David, CEO of SAGT, contributed as a guest speaker.

Pics: DSC 1091 Mr. Wim Welvaarts, senior port consultant from, Rebel Group (The Netherlands), Rohan Masakorala lead consultant from the Colombo Plan Maritime Administration Programme on capacity building, Ms. Lindsey Scannell Senior Counsel, CLDP, Mr. Maxwell Gruber, Senior International Program Specialist, CLDP and SLPA Senior officials.

Chitral Jayawarna

UK Trade Partnership Programme Empowers Sri Lanka's Organic Exports

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 03-04-2024 |
The UK Trade Partnership Programme project in Sri Lanka, funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), aims to promote exports by facilitating access to markets, providing technical advisory services to SMEs, and strengthening business support organizations.

The recently concluded training and validation workshop, conducted by the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme from March 18th to March 22nd, 2024, has emerged as a trigger for Sri Lanka's organic export growth. This timely initiative, organized in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the National Organic Control Unit (NOCU) of the Export Development Board (EDB), and the International Trade Centre (ITC), has attracted significant attention for its role in strengthening Sri Lanka's position in the global organic market.

This workshop provided a vital platform for matching Sri Lanka's organic standards with internationally recognized benchmarks. The Mayacert (Pvt) Ltd, a registered certification body in Sri Lanka facilitated the workshop by exploring the key organic standards and regulations such as the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Great Britain (GB) organic regulations. Through interactive sessions and practical activities, participants gained insights into certification processes, empowering them to meet global market requirements with confidence.

Following the training workshop, the “public-private stakeholders validation workshop on the assessment of the Sri Lankan organic standard against the IFOAM and Great Britain’s organic regulation” took place on March 21, 2024, at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Colombo. The event brought together key stakeholders in the organic value chain from the public and private sectors.
The series of in-person and hybrid events demonstrated the high interest of key stakeholders from the public and private sectors in enhancing organic agriculture in Sri Lanka as an untapped niche export to the UK and the EU as the priority target markets. The IFOAM international standard and Great Britain’s organic regulation were selected as the national and international organic benchmark requirements for the Sri Lankan organic standard and control system development and harmonization.

The conducted workshop, a testament to the UKTP Programme's dedication to promoting sustainable partnerships and driving economic growth, has received praise for its significant outcomes. By encouraging collaboration and knowledge-sharing, the program not only empowered local stakeholders but also strengthened Sri Lanka's position in the competitive global organic market landscape. With improved capabilities and alignment with international standards, Sri Lanka is ready to seize emerging opportunities and strengthen its reputation as a leading exporter of high-quality organic products.

The participation of Mr. Andrew Patrick, the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, undoubtedly added a significant shine to the event."Our analysis indicates that Sri Lanka could significantly benefit from the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), particularly in sectors such as organic products. We understand that tariffs are not the only barrier to export, which is why we're collaborating with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to bolster the technical skills of the industry, enabling them to access and thrive in the UK market. We provide this through the UK Trade Partnerships (UKTP) program. This includes targeted assistance for SMEs across various agricultural value chains, facilitated by the ITC. Through this program, SMEs receive trade promotion technical assistance, enhancing their competitiveness and facilitating entry into new export markets, including the UK.” said H.E. Andrew Patrick, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

The EDB Chairman, Dr. Kingsley Bernard, addressed the event, emphasizing its importance in achieving the objective of comparing and identifying gaps between Sri Lankan standards and international benchmarks. He stressed that this process provided a crucial opportunity for stakeholders, including institutions, the exporting community, and associations, to take effective measures to bridge these gaps. Additionally, Dr. Bernard highlighted the importance of utilizing the newfound knowledge as a comparative advantage to enhance Sri Lanka's competitiveness in the global marketplace.
As the workshops draw to a close, participants emerge empowered and ready to propel Sri Lanka's organic exports to new heights. The empowering initiatives of the UKTP Programme pave the way for a brighter future, where Sri Lanka's organic sector flourishes on the global stage, contributing to economic prosperity and sustainability in the region.

The event featured a variety of resource personnel including Mr. Simon Heisig: Export Quality Management Officer, Ms. Udval Badamkhatan, of the International Trade Centre, Dr. Shaikh Tanveer, Mr. Tom Nizet representing ITC Team of Experts, organic sector stakeholders representing the exporters, processors, farmers and certification bodies; officials from the relevant government institutions representing Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, Sri Lanka Standards Institution, Department of Agriculture, Industrial Technology Institute and the Export Development Board.

Ajith Nalaka

Adani Green Energy surpasses 10,000 MW renewable energy

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 03-04-2024 |
2,848 MW renewables capacity brought on stream in FY24

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), one of the world’s leading renewable energy (RE) companies, has surpassed 10,000 megawatts (MW) of operational portfolio, delivering reliable, affordable, and clean power to the national grid. AGEL’s operational portfolio consists of 7,393 MW solar, 1,401 MW wind and 2,140 MW wind-solar hybrid capacity. The milestone is a testament to AGEL and its development partners firmly moving towards the goal of 45,000 GW renewable energy by 2030.
AGEL’s 10,934 MW operational portfolio will power more than 5.8 million homes and avoid about 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

AGEL is setting a precedent for how innovative technology, execution capabilities, digitization, a robust supply chain network, and long-term infrastructure financing, combined with sustainable practices, can drive the clean energy transition and decarbonization on a giga scale.
Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group said “In less than a decade, Adani Green Energy has not just envisioned a greener future but has actualised it, growing from a mere idea to explore clean energy to achieving a phenomenal 10,000 MW in installed capacity. This achievement is a demonstration of the rapidity and scale at which the Adani Group aims to facilitate the transition to clean, reliable and affordable energy. In our drive towards 45,000 MW by 2030, we are building the world's largest renewable energy plant in Khavda — a 30,000 MW project unparalleled on the global stage. AGEL is not just setting benchmarks for the world but redefining them."

In line with AGEL’s pledge to enhance natural and social capital, the company is pursuing sustainable practices across its operations. AGEL’s unwavering focus on energizing a sustainable future for all is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, water stewardship, waste management and a circular economy, biodiversity management and climate action. AGEL’s operating portfolio is certified ‘single-use plastic free’, ‘zero waste-to-landfill’ and ‘water positive for plants with more than 200 MW capacity’.

Jamien Boulton

Vietnamese to Explore Agriculture Opportunities in Sri Lanka

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 06-03-2024 |

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce hosted a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, engaged in a working visit to strengthen bilateral relations between Vietnam and Sri Lanka, in the fields of agricultural, forestry and fishery.
Organized in association with the Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Business Council and the Embassy of Vietnam in Sri Lanka, the delegation led by H.E. Mr. Le Minh Hoan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, comprised high-ranking officials of the Ministry and prominent entrepreneurs of Vietnam’s agriculture sector. A roundtable discussion explored opportunities for collaboration in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries and facilitated exchanges of trade and industry models, establishing connections with business and industry associations in Sri Lanka.
Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber, Mr. Duminda Hulangamuwa, welcomed the delegation’s opportune timing, stating that following on from the gateway of opportunities presented by the recently inked Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Sri Lanka will continue to explore prospects for increased collaboration in the region. ‘Sri Lanka is strong in several agricultural sectors, with tea, fruit and vegetables especially, having strong export potential to Vietnam. Similarly, Vietnam’s progressive technology can strengthen the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka’ he added.
Highlighting Vietnam’s competitive advantage in agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products and the country’s global ranking in agricultural exports, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for Vietnam, His Excellency Le Minh Hoan stated that bilateral agricultural trade between Vietnam and Sri Lanka has potential for growth. Further, he highlighted the respective strengths of the two countries to complement mutual progress and development.
Ambassador of Vietnam to Sri Lanka Her Excellency Ho Thi Thanh Truc added that given the similarities in topography and climate between the two countries, partnerships to develop the agriculture sector were particularly relevant, and invited the delegates from both countries to make use of the opportunity to forge connections.
President of the Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Business Council Mr. S.M.D. Suriyakumara assured the delegation of the Council’s cooperation in facilitating trade and investment cooperation in the agricultural sectors of the Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The event was followed by B2B sessions providing a platform for representatives of companies from Sri Lanka to interact with their Vietnamese counterparts, fostering international cooperation and potential partnerships.
-Ayesha Rafeeq