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Thursday April 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka has to spend more on research, build links with business 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is still lagging behind many countries in innovation and links between businesses and universities have to be strengthened to make use of new discoveries and research, officials said.

In 2022, Sri Lanka was ranked 85 out of 132 countries in the world in a Global Innovation Index. 

In 2022, Sri Lanka had applied for 352 patent registrations and received 189 patents, Jayasundara said.

In the same year, China had registered 670,508 patents, followed by America with 268,205 patent registrations and Japan with 236, 890 patent registrations. 

“For every million of Sri Lankan citizens, only 105 citizens are engaged in research and innovation,” Secretary of Ministry of Industries Thilaka Jayasundara told reporters.

“There are only 75 research technicians available in this country for every million of citizens.”

Sri Lanka only spent the equivalent of 0.1 percent of GDP on research and development.

Lahiru Prabodha, a professor at Sri Lanka’s Ruhuna University said there were strong university-business linkages in developed countries which helped innovation.

“Reputed universities have what they call a ‘technology transfer office,” Praboda said.

“This is where universities obtain money for research, solutions, innovations, streamline intellectual property rights and even gain recognition for their work.

She was speaking at an event where 47 products in the fields of cosmetics, textiles and apparel, footwear and leather and pharmaceuticals were showcased.

In an earlier program the ministry of industries had also supported the commercialization of innovations in food, rubber, plastic and fibre related industries.

However there were many more opportunities for universities to work with businesses to solve market needs.

“We all work in silos,” Jayasundara said. “There’s no link between universities and investors,” 

“There’s little evidence based research and research done to help find solutions to the problems investors face.” (Colombo/Oct14/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders constructive: State finance minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe has said.

“It is standard practice, when a representative group of bondholders is formed, to entertain confidential discussions with such group and its appointed advisors. In the case of Sri Lanka, the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders represents holders controlling more than 50% of the bonds, which make them a privileged interlocutor for Sri Lanka,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“It is well understood that given the price sensitive nature of the negotiations, and according to market regulations, discussions with the Group and its advisors are to be conducted under non-disclosure agreements. This evidently restricts the ability of the Government to unilaterally report about the substance of the discussions.

“The cleansing statement, which was issued on the 16th of April, at the conclusion of this first round of confidential discussions with members of the Group, aims at informing the Sri Lankan people, market participants and other stakeholders to this debt restructuring exercise, about the progress in negotiations. It provides the highest possible level of transparency within the internationally accepted practices in such circumstances.

“As informed in this statement, confidential discussions held in recent weeks with bondholders’ representatives proved constructive, building on the restructuring proposals presented by both parties. During the talks both sides successfully bridged a number of technical issues enabling important progress to be made. Sri Lanka articulated key remaining concerns that need to be addressed in a satisfactory manner.

“The next steps would entail further consultation with the IMF staff regarding assessments of the compatibility of the latest proposals with program parameters. Following these consultations, we hope to continue discussions with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.”

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Sri Lanka rupee weakens at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Tuesday, from 299.00/10 on Tuesday, dealers said. 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 at 11.90/12.05 percent up from 11.95/12.00 percent.

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

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2031 closed at 12.30/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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Sri Lanka Treasury Bill yields down across maturities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields were down across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 3-month yield moving down 7 basis points to 10.03 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold all 30 billion rupees of 3-month bills offered.

The 6-month yield fell 5 basis points to 10.22 percent, with 25 billion rupees of bills offered and 29.98 billion rupees sold.

The 12-month yield dropped 4 basis points to 10.23 percent with 18.01 billion rupees of bills sold after offering 23 billion rupees. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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