Business and Economics
SLPA to form new company for East Container Terminal

The Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) will form a new company to administer the East Container Terminal which will be developed as a transhipment hub said State Minister for Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

The SLPA will keep 51% stake while Adani Group India along with Japanese company will retain the balance 49% and will be stakeholders in the proposed new company,” he said at a special press conference on Tuesday.

He said that Adani Group from India would be a key player in this. The ECT terminal would have around 70% transhipment business to India through them. Japan will invest in the technology aspect.

He disclosed that in the Hambantota Port deal signed by the previous government ceded total operational ownership to the Port. It was handed over for 98 years to China and the Sri Lankan government was only entitled to lease rental.

Rootcode Labs launches its brand new subsidiary – Rootcode AI

Rootcode Labs, a software product engineering company with a penchant for innovation, began their IT ventures over 5 years ago. They cater products and services primarily to markets in Europe, USA, and Asia. Rootcode Labs is headquartered in Sri Lanka with its corporate offices in Estonia and San Francisco, USA.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t a new concept to the world. We have been there to witness it steadily grow over the decades, and then pick up pace at an incredible speed in the past few years. AI has now become ubiquitous - significantly disrupting several industries and having a major impact on not just the technical functions, but on core business processes ranging from supply chain to health care as well. Businesses around the world utilise AI to improve operational efficiency and to identify patterns that are hard for humans to derive.

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Impressive Sri Lankan bounce back

A research report published by HSBC Global Research last December expects Sri Lankan GDP to grow by 7% y-o-y in 2021, largely due to base effects since they estimated a 5% drop in GDP during 2020, new President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) Nandika Buddhipala told the 62nd AGM at Kingsbury Hotel on Tuesday.

This report predicted that Sri Lanka should bounce back impressively. This will be the biggest upgrade to their forecasts. Mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Korea, as well as Sri Lanka, have seen among the fastest increase in shipments, with others lagging the recovery.

The CBSL policy rate cut by 250 bps, bringing down Standard Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) to 5.50% has been fully transmitted through lending rates easing off by 280 bps during the same period. They are of the view that public debt sustainability is amongst the biggest risks for Sri Lanka for the next five years.

Rating agencies including Fitch and Moody’s predict growth. Fitch in September 2020 estimated GDP growth for 2021 as 4.7%, whereas for 2020 they estimated a negative growth of 3.7%. Moody’s on September 29, 2020, estimated GDP growth in 2021 to be 3.6% whereas in 2020 they estimated negative growth of 3.2%. All rating reports expressed their concerns regarding Lankan debt sustainability and the government revenue collection target.

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