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Time for SAARC to move towards result-oriented action plans - President Rajapaksa

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized the imperative need for SAARC to move towards implementing result-oriented, actionable plans, which impact directly on the lives of the people.

He said that having evolved in structure, form and content, through almost three decades, SAARC is at a crucial juncture and now there is a need to shift from the present traditional approach and move towards implementing result-oriented, actionable plans, which impact directly on the lives of our peoples.

Addressing the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu today (November 26), he urged South Asian leaders to morally in keeping with the SAARC spirit to join forces against external threats on Member States. “While SAARC practice has been to abstain from involvement in bilateral issues of a political nature, we must resist external manipulations,” he said.

Read more: Time for SAARC to move towards result-oriented action plans - President Rajapaksa

 

External Sector Performance – September 2014

Press Release 

Economic Research Department 

07.11.2014

External Sector Performance – September 2014

Overview

External sector sustained its growth momentum with expanding external trade activities in September 2014. Since July 2014, the expenditure on imports continued to rise reflecting the rebound of investment goods imports in particular. As the cumulative earnings on exports outweighed the cumulative expenditure on imports, the trade deficit during the first nine months of 2014 narrowed, while tourist earnings and workers’ remittances continued to be stable sources of inflows improving the current account of the Balance of Payments (BOP). Inflows to the financial account in the form of project loans to the government and inflows to the banking sector continued to strengthen the BOP resulting in a healthy surplus in the overall BOP during the first nine months of 2014, despite some volatility in the government securities and equity markets.

Export Performance
 

Minister Peiris voices concerns of GOSL over OHCHR Investigation

The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris met the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Mr. Subinay Nandy today  and conveyed to him, the Government’s extreme discontent regarding the unprofessional manner in which the investigation on Sri Lanka is being conducted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). 

The Minister’s protest to the UN Resident Coordinator focused on the unacceptable way in which the deadline for submission of evidence to the investigation, 30 October, that had been originally set by the OHCHR had been changed unofficially and re-set once again. 

Read more: Minister Peiris voices concerns of GOSL over OHCHR Investigation

 

Monetary Policy Review – November 2014

Reflecting the recent downward adjustments to domestic energy prices, headline inflation on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis declined to its lowest level since November 2009 to record 1.6 per cent in October 2014, compared to 3.5 per cent in the previous month. Annual average headline inflation also declined to 3.8 per cent from 4.2 per cent. Core inflation (y-o-y) meanwhile, was at 3.6 per cent in October 2014 compared to 3.7 per cent in  the  previous  month  indicating  well  contained  demand  pressures  on  inflation.  It  is expected  that  subdued  commodity  prices  in  the  international  market,  recent  budget proposals such as reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 11 per cent and stable inflation expectations would keep inflation at benign levels in the period ahead.

Read full Press Release.....

 

“Meet in Sri Lanka” – MICE Tourism Promotion in Dubai

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The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and SriLankan Airlines in coordination with the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Dubai organized a Road Show “Meet in Sri Lanka” on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dubai to promote the country as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination. More than 80 tour operators in UAE attended the promotion event.

Read more: “Meet in Sri Lanka” – MICE Tourism Promotion in Dubai

 

Invitation for Bids for the Disposal of "Gyrinops Walla" ("Walla Patta")

‘Gyrinops Walla’, commonly known as ‘Wall Patta’ in Sinhala and Sri Lankan Agar Wood in English, is an endemic fragrance producing resinous plant grown in wet and intermediate zones in Sri Lanka. Resin extracted from ‘Gyrinops’ species has its unique fragrance and therefore, it is widely used as an, 

Ingredient in traditional medicine, world class perfume, incenses, aroma therapy, cosmetic and preservatives of accessories. Moreover, agar wood is used as cultural and religious purposes across the Asia. 

Due to the high economic value in perfumery and other industries excessive exploitation of

‘Gyrinops’ and Aquilaria species from natural habitats have been reported from many countries. Therefore, they are classified as endangered species in the international trade. Properties of Sri Lankan Agar Wood is unique, therefore high demand has been created from other countries. ‘Gyrinops Walla’ species possess pleasant fragrance which has lucrative in Middle Eastern market where it is used as a component to manufacturing of expensive perfumes, large scale smuggling of ‘Gyrinops Walla’ from Sri Lanka has been practiced for recent time.

 

Invitation for Bids for the Disposal of "Gyrinops Walla" ("Walla Patta")....

   

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

The Minister of External Affairs, Professor G. L. Peiris on Tuesday, 4th November, met the Heads of Mission and Representatives of the main proponents of the Investigation on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the High Commissioner of Australia. The Deputy Country Director of the UNDP also participated representing the UN system. 

Read more: MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

   

Government Finalising Arrangements for Pope’s Visit to Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Government is currently in the process of making all the necessary arrangements for the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis I to the island. 

The visit is taking place following an invitation extended to Pope Francis by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Last month, the President and First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa travelled to the Vatican where they received an audience with His Holiness and personally extended the invitation to visit Sri Lanka. 

Read more: Government Finalising Arrangements for Pope’s Visit to Sri Lanka

   

Sri Lanka signs MoU on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing

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The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was signed by Finance Ministers or their authorized Representatives of the 21 prospective Founding Member countries on 24 October 2014 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  Following the Signing Ceremony, the delegates met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping.  Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China, Ranjith Uyangoda signed the MoU on behalf of Sri Lanka. 

Read more: Sri Lanka signs MoU on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing

   

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