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Sri Lanka all set for Expo 2020 Dubai – The Island.lk

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EXPO 2020 DUBAI is the latest edition of World Expos held around the world since 1851 and will be the first ever to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Sri Lanka will participate in the mega-event which commences in October (01st October 2021 – 31st March 2022) and is expected to attract over 25 million visitors to Dubai during its six-month run. One of the key facets of the Sri Lankan contingent will be the specially designed Pavilion which was officially handed over by the Dubai Expo team to Mr.Nalinda Wijerathna, Deputy Commissioner General Sri Lanka for Expo and Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates on the 14th of September, 2021. Accompanying Mr.Nalinda Wijerathna at the handover was Mrs. Subashini De Silva, Second Secretary at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai.
The pavilion with its water-based theme was designed by a team from the University of Moratuwa and has been recognized as one of the best designs at Expo 2020 Dubai. The pavilion showcases the hydraulic civilization in a touristic perspective bringing out the 3 positioning pillars of Authenticity, Compactness and Diversity while taking visitors on a journey through history, culture, nature, people, and many facets of the destination through storytelling to inspire and showcase Sri Lanka to the world. Silent display screens at the pavilion will feature the unique facets of the island in all its wonder and awe.
The Pavilion will be segmented into zones to represent the many diverse facets of Sri Lanka. Zone 1 will display a cross-section of Sri Lanka’s multiple dimensions, zone 2 will focus on the island’s unique Ecology, Biodiversity, and Ecosystems, while zone 3 will give participants an insight into the island’s awe-inspiring history with a display based on the Islands ancient kingdoms. Zone 4 is dedicated to Economy and Trade Development and zone 5 will showcase local craftsmen and artisans with a masked wall and retail area. The specially designed Pavillion is a breathtaking mix of heritage, history, local style, and the latest technology. This will give participants a glimpse of island life in all its splendor, helping create interest that will attract both visitors and investors. The entire experience is designed to be personal, immersive, and memorable, conveying the island’s warm, sunny personality and exotic character.
Speaking about this landmark event Ms. Kimarli Fernando – Chairperson SL Tourism and the Commissioner General Sri Lanka for Expo, had this to say. ‘Expo 2020 Dubai was an event that came to Sri Lanka Tourism at the eleventh hour!! Despite all constraints and barriers, we made it this far and created a global platform for Sri Lanka to be showcased at this international event. We have created tourism, trade and investment opportunities at Expo which we are sure will generate great growth avenues for Sri Lanka. We are also blessed with amazing partners and great support extended from Expo Dubai team. Sri Lanka Tourism is looking forward for a successful event in Dubai’.
Sri Lanka Tourism has built a collision in presenting Sri Lanka strong and vibrant at Expo 2020 Dubai in partnership with the Sri Lanka Embassy in UAE and the Consulate in Dubai, Gem & Jewelry Authority, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Laksala, Board of Investment, Port City, Sri Lankan Airlines, and the National Chamber of Exporters. The event will provide an extraordinary opportunity for many organisations that make up the local contingent, including commercial opportunities that will enable a more robust and strengthened local economy. With over 190 countries participating in the event, there will be a wealth of interest in Sri Lanka’s unique arts, crafts, cuisine, and culture. Destination Sri Lanka will be telling its story through the creative use of song, dance, cultural events, and a host of strategically targeted programmes.
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A new paradigm life insurance product that offers protection as well as wealth accumulation with an emphasis on the latter has been launched by Ceylinco Life, raising the bar for investment options in Sri Lanka’s financial services sector.
Positioned as the best wealth accumulation product in the market, ‘Ceylinco Life Future Saver’ is designed to enable policyholders to plan for long-term goals by passionately saving for a short period during which their financial stability is at its peak.
This unique concept of long-term protection for a short-term commitment makes Ceylinco Life Future Saver a standout product, offering protection for up to 25 years or more, for premium payments over five or 10 years, based on the policyholder’s capacity and wealth accumulation aspirations.
“Life insurance products must adapt in response to changing socio-economic dynamics,” Ceylinco Life General Manager Marketing Samitha Hemachandra commented. “Future Saver is an excellent example of a product that meets the aspirations of key demographics of the present, especially millennials, young adults aged 25 – 45 years, customers segmented as SEC A, executives and managers in the private and public sectors, professionals, businessmen and self-entrepreneurs. It also advances the Ceylinco Life credo of de-risking the ambitions of its customers with financial security that goes beyond life cover.”
Ceylinco Life Future Saver creates a Wealth Accumulation Fund built on monthly dividend rates declared by the Company for the Basic Premium paid by the policyholder, part of which funds a life insurance policy, while the balance accumulates in the Fund. The Wealth Fund component is carefully managed by professional investment managers who will ensure that it grows each month, enabling policyholders to develop an attractive saving at maturity to achieve future goals such as retirement or children’s education, while enjoying the protection offered by the life policy.
A noteworthy feature of the new product is a Premium Assurance Benefit that guarantees that Ceylinco Life will continue the payment of the basic premium for a policyholder’s Wealth Fund until the end of the premium paying term in the event of the premature death of the policyholder, and will build the Fund for his or her loved ones. In the event of total and permanent disability, the Company will continue the payment of basic premium as well as the premium for life cover until the end of the premium paying term.
This feature ensures that in the event of the death of the policyholder during the term of the policy, the beneficiaries would receive not just the life cover but the Premium Assurance Benefit and the accumulated sum in the Wealth Fund at the maturity date.
Furthermore, Loyalty Rewards will be provided as additional credits at specified internals only to the Wealth Funds of policyholders who have paid their premiums on time, increasing the balance further. This is the most attractive feature of the Future Saver plan which ensures a rewarding maturity value b.
at the end, the Company said.
Adding to the attraction of the Future Saver policy, policyholders are entitled to withdraw up to 10 per cent of the accumulated Wealth Fund twice during the policy term after the third policy year, in case of an emergency.
It also offers a provision to maintain an emergency fund for future needs such as medical expenses, or expenses during retirement, by continuing the Wealth Fund for up to 20 years after the policy matures, by choosing the Lifeline Payout benefit without obtaining the maturity value. In such instances, Ceylinco Life will allow unlimited withdrawals during the extended period, but will continue to credit the dividends to the Fund.
Providing all the benefits available with Ceylinco Life’s standard life insurance products, Future Saver also offers the option of adding supplementary benefits such as Accidental Death Benefit, Total and Permanent Disability Benefit, Critical Illness Benefit and cover for the policyholder’s spouse and children.
Additionally, Future Saver policyholders are entitled to the special rewards exclusive to Ceylinco Life policyholders, such as ‘Pranama’ scholarships for their children and participation in the ‘Family Savari’ mega promotion annually.
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Manufacturing PMI bounced back to 54.3 in September 2021, increasing by 9.2 index points compared to August 2021. This increase was mainly attributable to the significant improvements observed in New Orders and Employment sub-indices.
The increase in New Orders, particularly in the manufacture of textile & wearing apparel and food & beverages sectors, have contributed considerably to the overall improvement in the PMI. Some respondents in the textile & wearing apparel sector mentioned that they received a large number of export orders in September with the normalisation of the economies in the major export destinations. Employment has also increased, especially in the manufacture of textile & wearing apparel sector, where new recruitments resumed with the tapering off of the pandemic situation.
However, Production and Stock of Purchases have remained closer to the neutral level with a marginal contraction during September 2021. Some respondents in the manufacture of food & beverages sector highlighted that they had to slow down the factory operations due to the lower availability of raw materials. Further, the continuous increase in the cost of imported raw materials, particularly due to rising global commodity prices, has also been highlighted as a major concern. Meanwhile, Suppliers’ Delivery Time lengthened in September 2021.
In the next three months, expectations for manufacturing activities remain at elevated levels anticipating further improvements in economic condition locally and globally.
Services PMI entered the growth territory reporting an index value of 52.2 in September 2021 following the dip observed in August 2021. This was underpinned by the increases in New Businesses, Backlogs of Work and Expectations for Activity sub-indices.
New Businesses increased in September compared to the previous month mainly with the improvements observed in transportation, solely related to freight forwarding, financial services, education and telecommunication sub-sectors.
Business activities in transportation, solely driven by freight forwarding, education and insurance sub-sectors showed improvements during September. However, business activities in other personal activities, wholesale and retail trade, human health activities and accommodation, food and beverage sub-sectors were largely affected due to the quarantine curfew imposed throughout the month. As such, Business Activity sub-index edged up in September, yet continued to remain below the threshold level.
Employment sub-index continued to remain in the negative territory with retirements and voluntary resignations amid comparatively low level of new recruitments. Meanwhile, Backlogs of Work continued to increase in September since a limited staff reported to work amid prolonged travel restrictions and COVID-19 infections among staff members.
Expectations for Business Activities for the next three months increased in September following the lift in travel restrictions and fall in domestic COVID-19 cases. Nevertheless, some respondents continued to express their concerns with regard to adverse effects on business operations from import restrictions and increase in input costs.
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The Q+ Payment App, Sri Lanka’s first QR-based payment application to be launched under LANKAQR, has surpassed the 100,000 registered customers milestone, doubling its customer base in just five months, the app’s owner the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced.
The fastest growing QR app in the country, Q+ Payment App has an easy self-registration process, and is well received by customers owing to the convenience and security it offers them in cashless payment processing when they pay for purchases by scanning QR codes via mobile phones or via the in-app bill payment facility, the Bank said.
Designed as a hassle-free payment alternative for cardholders and vendors, the app gained popularity via a series of Bank-driven promotions in collaboration with popular local retailers and due to its participation in a number of Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) led ‘රටපුරාම LANKAQR’ programs held across the country.
Positioned as the next dimension of payment options, the Q+ Payment App enables cardholders to pay for purchases via their mobile phones simply by scanning the merchant’s QR code. Since the launch, the app underwent several functionality-enhancing upgrades including biometric authentication login for both the consumer and merchant applications, an ‘In-App Bill Payments’ feature that allows customers connected to the Bank’s Debit, Credit or Prepaid cards to pay bills instantly, the facility to promptly settle Credit Card outstanding and top-up Pre-paid Cards, and most recently, the addition of an ‘Online Pay’ feature which enables customers to pay for online purchases by entering their mobile numbers in merchant websites and apps that have ‘Q+ Payment App’ as a payment option.
The ‘In-App Payments’ feature enables Q+ Payment App customers to make payments in many categories such as data reloads, prepaid and post-paid mobiles, fixed telephone lines, water and electricity (CEB and LECO) and pay-TV bills.
The dynamic and interactive customer experience and convenience the app offers are the driving forces behind its popularity, the Bank said. By binding their cards to the Q+ Payment App, ComBank cardholders avoid pulling out the card from their wallets which prevents card losses and card theft. This also encourages the use of environment friendly, paperless-banking features such as Digital receipts and in-App alerts. Payments done using Q+ Payment App require authentication using a static PIN which ensures the safety and security of transactions, making the Q+ Payment App more secure than a normal card.
Customers can add their ComBank Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay cards to the Q+ Payment App, enabling them to perform LankaQR, mVisa, and Mastercard QR transactions. A maximum of five cards can be added to the app. Q+ Payment App is the only payment app in Sri Lanka that supports LankaQR, mVisa, and Mastercard QR transactions. Moreover, the Q+ Payment App is certified for use at overseas QR merchants through the Visa and MasterCard networks.
 
 

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