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Monday April 15th, 2024

Sri Lanka blockchain start-up gets venture capital from Japan

ECONOMYNEXT – Tracified, a Sri Lanka-based start-up which is developing a blockchain based solution to track supply chains has received funds from a Japanese venture capital firm to take it forward, officials said.

Tracified was backed by 99x Technologies, a Colombo-based technology firm and StartupX Foundry, a technology accelerator.

Co-founder of Tracified, Dileepa Jayathilaka said Japan-based 360ip Company has invested an undisclosed sum in 20 percent of Tracified.

“While we have built many award-winning products during the past 10 years through our cutting-edge research, Tracified is the first product we have successfully commercialized with an international partnership, providing us both funding and market access.” Jayathilaka said.

Tracified says its public blockchain solution allows authentic sellers to prove the quality of their produce to the intended market.

It can be used by any participant in a supply chain to share information with other participants including end-consumers, in a credible way via public blockchain.

Blockchain technology enables data to be held in distributed public ledgers in a secure and encrypted way and ensure that transactions can never be altered.

Japan’s 360ip was jointly established by Innovation Valley Partners (of where) and Batelle Venture, which is linked to a large non-profit research and development commercialization organization.

In 2017, 360ip Japan launched Japan Fund I with an initial commitment of 1.0 billion yen.

“360ip has a focus on investing and developing advanced science and technology ventures on a global scale,” 360ip Japan Chief Executive Officer, Asashi Fujimori said in a statement issued by the Tracified.

Although Sri Lanka’s potential in developing advanced ICT services and products is known to many, only a very few early-stage technology startups survive beyond seed round, due to the lack of a well-established venture capital financing framework with an effective technology commercialization methodology.”

Fujimori said 360ip wants to supporting promising startup ventures to develop their technology and expand their business beyond Sri Lank (Colombo/Aug 17/2020)

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Sri Lanka to discuss two contentious points with bondholders: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and sovereign bondholders are to discuss two matters in the near future which the two sides failed to reach agreement at March talks in London, a media report quoting a top aide to President Wickremesinghe as saying.

Sri Lanka and bondholders had discussed four matters on restructuring international sovereign bonds in late March and agreement had been reached on two, President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake was quoted as saying on state-run ITN television.

A restructuring proposal by bondholders was not in line with IMF requirements, and Sri Lanka had sent a counter proposal, he said.

The matters will be discussed at round of talks in the near future.

Sri Lanka was optimistic of reaching an agreement with the bondholders before June, officials have said.

According to matters already in the public domain, sovereign bond holders are keen to get a bond tied to dollar gross domestic product, as they feel IMF growth projections are too low.

In past re-structuring so-called value recovery instruments, a type of warrant, gave their owners extra payments if a country did better than expected and were tied to items like oil prices.

Bondholders had initially proposed bond which would have a lower hair cut initially, and it will have additional hair cuts if growth is low (about 3.1 percent) as projected in an IMF debt sustainability analysis. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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BIMSTEC Secretary General visits Sri Lanka, discusses regional cooperation

ECONOMYNEXT – The Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), discussed measures to enhance regional cooperation, during his visit to the island last week.

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Secretary General of BIMSTEC visited Sri Lanka from 07 – 12 April 2024, following his assumption of office as Secretary General of BIMSTEC in January this year.

The Secretary General “met with senior officials of relevant Ministries/Agencies to discuss measures to enhance regional cooperation under various BIMSTEC initiatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Several BIMSTEC countries have bilateral trade agreements, such as Sri Lanka and India, Thailand and Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, but no collective regional agreement to enable intra-regional leverage.

During the visit, Secretary General Pandey held discussions with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and paid courtesy calls on the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Secretary General Pandey participated at an event on “Regional Cooperation through BIMSTEC” organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) on 9 April. (Colombo/April15/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 299.00/10 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 299.00/10 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Monday, from 298.50/55 on Wednesday, dealers said, while bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed stable at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent up from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.20/40 percent. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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