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Monday December 11th, 2023

Sri Lanka plans Ceylon tea promotions in Europe, US

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to spend 1.5 million US dollars to promote Ceylon tea in Europe and the US, while exploring opportunities to get the Ceylon tea trade mark into the readymade beverages market, an official said.

Sri Lanka Tea Board planned to increase the exports to European countries and other Western countries including America in 2023, Pavithri Pieris, The Director promotions at Tea board said.

Sri Lanka is exporting 95 percent of the tea production at the moment.

“We have planned to do our campaign in 20 different countries. Of these we are mainly focusing on Europe and USA this time,” Pieris told reporters.

“Currently we are marketing our products in around 105 markets in the world. At the moment 50 percent of our product goes to Middle East and around 17 percent goes to Russia and other Soviet Union countries. And we have the need to increase our exports to European countries.”

Pieris said, for the campaign, the tea board has allocated around 1.5 million US dollars.

The Tea Board will also initiate another global promotional campaign focusing 12 countries in the world, that was planned before the Russia and Ukraine war.

“Actually we planned to do it in both Russia and Ukraine. But due to the war situation we can’t go there now,” Pieris said.

“And then we will also go to Japan and by fourth quarter next year we are planning to go to Saudi Arabia and Australia.”

She said, Tea Board is also exploring the opportunities on getting to the readymade industry with the Ceylon tea trade mark.

“The Lion logo we give for our products are only for the tea that is being packed here,” Pieris said.

“In Iced tea or tea related drinks in the ready to drink beverage industry that is being served, only the tea packet is being produced in the country while other items are being added in overseas market,”

“We are exploring to see whether we can give the logo to those products as well because that is a big market mostly popular in Europe and north American countries.” (Colombo/ Nov 28/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s ousted utilities regulatory chief convinced he’ll be president

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka’s former public utilities regulatory chief Janaka Ratnayake, who was removed in May following a parliamentary vote, has confirmed that he intends to run for president.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday December 11 in the wake of an hours-long island-wide power outage the previous evening, Ratanayake said he will be the definite winner at a future presidential poll.

“I announced [my intention to run] officially on December 07, my birthday. I’m definitely coming as a presidential candidate. That’s not all, I’m the definite president at a future presidential election,” he said.

Ratnayake, in his first media appearance in months, was responding to questions about newspaper advertisements published on December 07 announcing his future candidacy.

Sri Lanka’s parliament on May 24 opted to remove the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), with 123 members voting in favour. This marked the first time a head of an independent government commission was sacked by Sri Lanka’s parliament.

Power & Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara, who had been at loggerheads with the regulatory chief, said at the time that the official had acted obstinately without the concurrence of fellow commission members.

The minister levelled five charges against Ratnayake, the first twoof  which were based on a February 10 verdict by the Court of Appeal rejecting an application filed by the offiical against an electricity tariff hike. Opposition legislators slammed the decision saying it undermined independent commissions.

Ratnayake’s presidential ambitions have been known for some time. A day before parliament voted to remove him, he told reporters: “If I can change the country, I will definitely join politics, because my intention is to serve the people and what is right.”

Ratnayake had blocked delayed a tariff hike in early 2023, resulting in losses to the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Minister Wijesekara claimed at the time. The PUCSL had als onot enabled tariff hikes for nine years, requiring its governing law to be changed, Wijesekera said.

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Sri Lanka wants university research to lead to commercially viable products

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ministry of industries wants to ensure commercially-ready products and services are produced by university research, by facilitating partnerships with factories and entrepreneurs.

After a currency crisis, Sri Lanka’s government is in a drive to boost its trade balance by increasing exports.

“Our export basket hasn’t changed recently, partly because our small and medium entrepreneurs don’t have sufficient research and development facilities (like the multinationals) to innovate their products for the export market,” Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Industries, Chaminda Pathiraja said.

“At the same time, state universities and research institutes produce a large amount of research findings yearly, which end up sitting in those institutions; they don’t reach the industry,” Pathiraja said at a press briefing to announce a program on commercialization of new products and research, to be held tomorrow at the Waters Edge.

The networking forum will bring innovators and manufacturers together to focus on the commercialization of research for the value added tea, coir, spice, dairy products, gem and jewellery and packaging products industries.

“We want to encourage collaboration, through programs like our University Business League etc, so that the research output can be commercialized, and what is produced by our factories can increase in quantity and quality. We must focus on the export market.”

The objective of this program, he said, was to reduce the gap in acquiring innovators’ ideas and skills by the investors, and ultimately boost the manufacturing sector’s efficiency in alignment with the export market.

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Sri Lanka rupee opens at 327.00/50 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee opened at 327.00/50 to the US dollar on Monday, from 327.00/30 Friday, dealers said.

On the Colombo Stock Exchange, both indices opened up: The All Share Price Index 0.28 percent at 10,823, and the S&P SL20 0.35 percent at 3,113.85.

Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 was quoted at 14.05/20 percent from 14.05/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 was quoted at 14.05/20 percent from 14.10/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 was quoted at 14.20/50 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

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