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Sri Lanka Briefings: Inflation up 4.1% YoY in November

Last updated on December 3rd, 2020 at 08:31 am

03 Dec 2020

Sri Lanka’s headline inflation as measured by the year-on-year (YoY) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI = 2013) increased 4.1% in November 2020, from 4.0% in October 2020. The increase was attributed to an increase in prices in both Food and Non-Food categories. Food inflation rose 10.3% YoY in November 2020 from 10.0% a month earlier. Non-food inflation inched up 1.6% YoY in November 2020 from 1.3% in October 2020. 

Rigid Tyre to commence production in January 2021

23 Nov 2020

Rigid Tyre Corporation’s new state-of-the-art, fully integrated manufacturing plant which was built with an investment of USD 250 million will begin operations in January 2021. Construction of Phase 1 with an investment worth USD 100 million is complete while Phase 2 is expected to be complete by mid-March 2022. The plant will produce passenger car radials, as well as tyres for two-wheelers, three-wheelers, trucks, buses, and solid tyres, which will serve the local and export markets. Natural rubber, a key raw material, will be sourced locally, empowering Sri Lanka’s rubber farmers, and creating job opportunities. 

“It is the largest foreign direct investment in the last ten years; it will also be one of the country’s foremost exporters when the production commences,” Executive Director Dhammika Lokuwithana said in a statement. “Besides rejuvenating the export sector which has suffered due to different crises over the past few years, this project will also serve to revive the local rubber industry which Sri Lanka was once world renowned for,” he added. 

ICICI Bank shuts down Sri Lanka operations

24 Oct 2020

Indian bank ICICI Bank has ceased its Sri Lanka operations, following the bank receiving approval from the Sri Lankan monetary authority.

Sri Lanka export revenue totals USD 9.7 billion for the first 9 months of 2020

23 Oct 2020

Figures from Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board show that Sri Lanka’s revenues for the export of merchandise and services for the first nine months of 2020 amounted to USD 9.7 billion, a 17.7% decline year on year. The decline was attributed to the Covid-induced economic slowdown worldwide.

Total revenues from the export of services amounted to USD 2.3 billion during the January to September period, down from  20.7% from the previous year’s USD 2.9 billion. Within the services segment, only the information and communications technology / business process management (ICT / BPM) saw year-on-year growth.

Total revenues from merchandise exports fell 16.9% from January to September to USD 7.4 billion, largely driven by a decline in exports of apparel, tea, and rubber. Merchandise products that saw positive growth were coconut-based products which grew 4%, food and beverages up 2%, other export crops up 148%, and petroleum products up 6%.

Australian AI-powered agtech startup GoMicro partners with John Keells PLC to grade tuna

12 Oct 2020

South Australian startup GoMicro which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to solve agricultural problems such as detecting pests, plant disease, and food quality has partnered with one of Sri Lanka’s leading conglomerates John Keells Holdings PLC to test its solution to  to grade tuna for consumption. Using a phone microscopic device with an artificial intelligence suite to recognize patterns, GoMicro’s unique solution will enable John Keells to grade seafood such as tuna using a database of hundreds of photos (rather than the thousands usually required). GoMicro is backed by Sri Lankan serial entrepreneur, and CEO of  St. Anthony’s Industries Group Jeevan Gnanam. 

Mobitel introduces Huawei’s next generation 5G Nova SE to the Sri Lankan market

01 Oct 2020

Sri Lanka’s national mobile service provider Mobitel has introduced Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s next generation 5G Nova SE, as part of Mobitel’s continuing efforts to bring the latest technologies to Sri Lanka. Mobitel was the first mobile network provider to demonstrate 5G technology in South Asia back in 2019, and the company has held the crown for two consecutive years as the mobile network operator with the fastest LTE network in Sri Lanka, according to Ookla. 

Sri Lanka Telecom ready to launch 5G

21 Jan  2020

One of Sri Lanka’s leading telecom operators Sri Lanka Telecom says it is ready to launch 5G in the country via fixed wireless broadband access. The company currently provides a full range of ICT services covering voice, data, broadband, TV, mobile, and enterprise solutions to its customer base which currently numbers more than 1.6 million.