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Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Contentious Sri Lanka shipping reforms under spotlight at forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan government plans to liberalise shipping by removing foreign ownership controls will be discussed at a forum of key public and private sector stakeholders tomorrow.

The Public-Private Dialogue is organized to provide a platform for all stakeholders, including the private sector, to share their views and concerns, a statement by the International Trade Centre (ITC), which is hosting the forum, said.

It aims to “overcome impediments to transparency and accommodate greater inclusion of stakeholders in decision-making in maritime, logistics and transport reform,

“The PPD will deliberate upon the potential impact of liberalisation in the shipping and logistics sector and bring in more visibility and transparency to the interested parties of the government agenda.”

Consultations that took place as part of the National Export Strategy highlight that only limited interactions between stakeholders take place, the ITC said. “As a result, greater coordination needs to be facilitated between stakeholders to ensure that the needs of the logistics sector are met.”

The forum to discuss reforms of the maritime, logistics and transport sector is being organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Ministry of Finance within the framework of the EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance Project funded by the European Union.

Speaking ahead of the event, Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, HTung-Lai Margue said, “Sri Lanka is well-positioned to become a regional hub, and this event will help to identify the reforms required for Sri Lanka to achieve this goal, also for trade in Europe”.

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Hon. Mangala Samaraweera said, “Sri Lanka is on the cusp of a major developmental drive that will establish its position as a vital trade hub in the  Indian Ocean region. The reform of the logistics sector as a key driver is highly instrumental for this”.

Samaraweera has said the government will press ahead with liberalizing the shipping industry, a move opposed by a domestic shipping agency cartel and freight forwarders.
(COLOMBO, 01 October, 2018)



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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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