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BUSINESS NEWS

Hotel Show Colombo to uplift the industry
July 26-28, at BMICH Colombo

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 09-05-2024 |
By Anusha Maureen

Colombo, Sri Lanka – 8th of May 2024 - Sri Lanka's preeminent hospitality event, Hotel Show Colombo 2024, is poised to elevate the standards of the industry through adaptation of hospitality related innovations both products and services. The event is scheduled to take place from July 26th to 28th, 2024, at the BMICH. The esteemed occasion is expected to be inaugurated on the 26th of July by the President Ranil Wickremesinghe, alongside prominent figures from four esteemed tourism institutions and industry leaders.

Organized by the Sri Lanka Hospitality Graduates Association in collaboration with CDC Events, and bolstered by both state and private sector support, Hotel Show Colombo has established itself as the pinnacle of hospitality exhibitions over the past 26 years. Continuously evolving to meet the dynamic needs of the industry, this annual event serves as a vital platform for exhibitors to meet their business objectives while fostering growth and innovation within the sector.

Spanning over 225 booths and stalls, the exhibition will showcase a diverse array of hospitality products and services sourced from across the globe. Visitors from Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, and other South Asian countries will bear witness to the latest advancements, innovations, and cost- effective solutions within the industry. From Furniture and Fixtures to cutting-edge Technology Solutions, Property Management Systems (PMS), Hospitality Supplies, Interior Design and Décor, Food and Beverage Offerings, Guest Experience Enhancements, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability Solutions, and Security and Safety Equipment, the event promises to be a comprehensive showcase of the industry's finest offerings.

In light of the resurgence of the tourism sector in Sri Lanka and the heightened demand for hotel supplies and services, Hotel Show Colombo 2024 will serve as a pivotal platform for buyers and sellers to converge, facilitating invaluable networking opportunities and streamlining procurement processes. By bringing together key stakeholders under one roof, the exhibition aims to optimize efficiency, saving both time and resources for industry players.

Complementing the main exhibition are a series of concurrent events, including The National Barista Championship, National Room Stylist Challenge, National Tea Masters Cup Sri Lanka, Bar Champs - bartenders competition, and a lineup of Industry-focused Masterclasses. These events are designed to celebrate excellence within the industry while providing a platform for professionals to showcase their skills and expertise.

Mr. Trevin Gomez, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, emphasized the significance of the event, stating, "In a time of unprecedented growth within the tourism sector, hotels and resorts are increasingly focusing on enhancing their facilities and guest experiences. Hotel Show Colombo 2024 will address these needs comprehensively."

The Hotel Show Colombo 2024 is to be backed by many industry members. The main exhibition is sponsored by Principal Sponsor - Cargills Ceylon PLC, Platinum Sponsor - Pragmatic International, and Gold Sponsors - Fits Retail (Pvt) Ltd, Asian Chill Equipment (Pvt) Ltd, Venture Hotel Supplies (Pvt) Ltd, Suyamas International (Pvt) Ltd, and World Of Outdoor (Pvt) Ltd. Additionally, Silver Sponsors include Celcius Solutions (Pvt) Ltd and Nestle Lanka Ltd.

The concurrent events are also sponsored, with the National Barista Championship by Fits Retail (Pvt) Ltd and Kotmale, the National Room Stylist Challenge sponsored by Celcius Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, the National Tea Masters Cup Sri Lanka by Knuckles, and Bar Champs by Rockland Distilleries.

For more information, please visit www.hotelshowcolombo.com / facebook.com/hotelshowcolombosrilanka or contact Meth

EDB SUPPORTS THE SRI LANKAN PAVILION AT HOTEL ASIA EXHIBITION IN THE MALDIVES - MAY 13 TO 15

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 09-05-2024 |
Claude Gunasekera

Sri Lanka Exporters Gear Up for Hotel Asia Exhibition 2024 in the Maldives

The Sri Lanka-Maldives Business Council (SLMLBC) of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and the Sri Lankan High Commission in the Maldives, is organising a business delegation to the renowned Hotel Asia Exhibition in the Maldives from 13-15 May 2024.

The Hotel Asia Exhibition is renowned as the Maldives' premier food and hospitality event, attracting stakeholders from resorts, hotels, guest houses, safari boat operators, restaurants, and cafeterias. From food and beverage to catering equipment, furniture, and health leisure equipment, with over 3000 visitors and 250 companies expected to attend, the exhibition covers a wide spectrum of offerings, aligning with Sri Lanka's export capabilities.

In response to the recent downturn in Sri Lanka's market presence within Maldives' imports, the SLMLBC and EDB have launched a strategic initiative to reintroduce Sri Lankan SMEs to the Maldivian market. The Sri Lanka Pavilion at the Exhibition is strategically designed to support this objective, focusing on expanding the market share for value-added products and pinpointing opportunities for novel offerings.

With over 3000 visitors and 250 companies expected to attend, with a total of 16 SMEs and 4 large-scale export companies participating, the Sri Lankan government, through the EDB, has pledged to cover 50% of the stall costs for each participating company, along with the support of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in the Maldives.

Industry partnerships with Ocean Trade & Logistics, the Bank of Ceylon, and Aitken Spence supporting logistics, banking, and travel services respectively, will further facilitate industry participation. The delegation will also meet with several senior government officials and representatives of business chambers, thereby offering further networking and business development opportunities. Participating in this Business Promotion Mission provides businesses with invaluable opportunities to enhance market access and networking opportunities.



A discussion with participants of the fair was held at the EDB on 2nd April 2024 with the participation of His Excellency High Commissioner - designated to the Republic of the Maldives Mr. P.R.S. Goonawardene, Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of EDB Dr. Kingsly Bernard and Director - Regional Development of EDB Mrs. Seplika Jayawardene, President – Sri Lanka Maldives Business Council Mr. Sudesh Mendis and other officials to detail them about the fair, its requirements to be met and preparation for participation.

Pre-fair Workshop in preparing the participants for a successful participation at the fair was also held on 4th April 2024 by an EDB team of officers trained by IPD (International Promotion Desk) Germany




Sri Lanka Country Pavilion at Hotel Asia Exhibition & International Culinary Challenge 2024 in the Maldives from 13th – 15th May 2024
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Male, Maldives and Sri Lanka – Maldives Business Council (SLMBC) will be organizing a group of 19 exporters including 15 SME entrepreneurs to participate at “Hotel Asia Exhibition & International Culinary Challenge 2024”. It is the Maldives’ biggest and best annual food and hospitality event, which brings together all those who are involved in the tourism sector in one location. The event will be held from 13th to 15th May 2023 at Dharubaaruge Exhibition Hall, Male, Maldives.

Maldives is a potential market for many of Sri Lankan products due to their high dependency on imports to meet most of their requirements. Maldives imports various products to meet its domestic needs, such as refined petroleum, food preparations, rice, wheat, and machinery. In 2023, goods worth around US $ 3.47 billion have been imported to the Maldives from Oman, China, India, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore, USA, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and France. This value is more than doubled compared to the import value a decade ago. About 95% of the Maldives' food consumption, including tourism sector consumption is met by imports and a substantial amount of food and beverages, accounting to around US $ 60 million had been imported, primarily from India, Sri Lanka, and the UAE in year 2023.

Maldives is the 23rd export destination for Sri Lanka. Total export value from Sri Lanka to Maldives was US $ 112.54 Mn in 2023 and total imports from Maldives to Sri Lanka for the same period were US $ 2.99 Mn. Sri Lanka’s main export products to Maldives in 2023 were insulated wires and cables, sugars, sugar confectionery & bakery products, cereals and products, meat, preparations of meat/fish & dairy produce, fruits and vegetables. Also, potential products from Sri Lanka to Maldives are wheat flour, fresh or chilled vegetables, prepared or preserved nuts & other seeds, black tea, fresh fruits, electric conductors, fresh or dried pineapples, sweet biscuits, bars & rods of iron or non-alloy steel.

The exhibition attracts visitors from resorts, hotels, guest houses, safari boat operators and owners, restaurants and cafeterias to explore the products and services offered by international and local exhibitors. The event will create a platform for Sri Lankan exporters to gain insights into the latest trends, innovations, and developments in the industry, as well as take advantage of the networking opportunities. It covers a wide range of products and services, including food and beverage, catering equipment & services, furniture, furnishing & tableware, and health leisure & equipment, construction of water & wastewater systems, all kinds of cleaning chemicals for hotels & resorts, and design, supply & installation of ventilation system etc.

The expected benefits from the programme are to expand market share for value-added products and identify opportunities for new products and services, find new buyers and strengthen existing contacts, provide opportunities for SME companies to enter the Maldives market, promote Sri Lankan products’ brands and secure more opportunities from Maldives buyers.

In general, the programme create a platform for discussion and exchange of knowledge between the participants, Maldivian professionals of the industry and Trade Associations. Sri Lankan companies will also get the opportunity to interact with exhibitors participating from various countries at the exhibition.

A networking event will also be organized by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Maldives for the Sri Lankan delegation giving opportunities for further networking.

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