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Business


BOI sign agreement with Switz Lanka

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka signed an agreement with Switz Lanka (Private) Limited. Chairman/Director General Mr. Dhammika Perera signed the agreements and formally presented the Certificate of Registration to the Investors on behalf of the BOI.
The agreement is to set up a modern facility for breeding poultry. Switz Lanka is a venture between Switz Group of Saudia Arabia and the Jaywise Group in Sri Lanka. The project will set up a poultry layer farm in Madurankuliya, Puttalam District. This project will be the first stage, with the establishment a layer farm operation eventually leading to egg export, egg processing and setting up of an industrial bakery. The first stage of the project will involve an investment of approximately Rupees 150 million.
The Switz group operates in six different countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, UAE, India and the Philippines producing bakery items, breads, liquid eggs and trading in food ingredients and machinery. The Jaywise Group have a history in livestock, plantation and dairy production and marketing in Sri Lanka
Mr. Taizoon Khorakiwala (Director) and Mr. M. S. Jeevunjee (Director) signed the agreement on behalf of Switz Lanka (Private) Limited.

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Construction trade fair

Excon 2007 to boost trade between India and Lanka

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising Excon 2007, India’s largest and only focused construction equipment and construction technology trade fair, in association with Indian Earthmoving & Construction Industry Association Ltd (IECIAL), Bangalore to be held between November 14 – 18, 2007. This five-day exhibition is expected to attract 300 exhibitors and 55,000 business visitors across the globe.

Addressing a Road Show on Excon 2007 organised by the CII in association with Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in Colombo Rajitha Senaratne, Minister for Construction & Engineering Services who was the Chief Guest at the Road Show said, “There is plenty of potential for expanding the bilateral trade between Sri Lanka & India. In order to exploit this potential, both countries need to look at broader areas for cooperation, including the construction sector”.
The minister said that under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India, Sri Lanka has tremendous potential to enhance its trade with India. Excon 2007 would give a fillip in enhancing the trade between the two countries especially in the construction equipment sector.

Mr Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, EXCON 2007 and Managing Director & CEO, JCB India Limited in his presentation on Excon 2007 said, “Excon is Asia’s third largest trade fair for equipment industry and amongst world’s top ten construction equipment & construction technology trade fairs”. Besides showcasing world class products and services in the construction equipment sector, it would also demonstrate the technological prowess of the construction equipment industry.

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A Letter to the Editor

Plantation workers’ wage

After the Wage Agreement in November 2006, I wrote an article detailing the remuneration package of the workers including the non-wage benefits enjoyed by them. Since the plantation workers’ wage has been once again highlighted in the media, it is prudent to re-visit the subject.
Although, the previous wage agreement was valid until 31st December 2008, the unions demanded another increase in October 2007 stating that the Government had given a basic wage of Rs.5,000/- per month to all workers. The increase in the cost of living was also cited as a reason for this new demand. The Companies did not agree to the increase and it was finally granted on a Presidential “directive”.
On the earlier wage package, a worker could earn Rs.6,500/- per month, as 25 days of work are guaranteed. This comprised a Basic Wage of Rs.170/-, a Fixed PSS of Rs.20/- and an attendance incentive of Rs.70/- (for 75% and over outturn on days work offered) totaling to Rs.260/- per day.
Consequent to the recent increase, the new package is as follows:-
Basic Rs.200/-
Fixed PSS Rs. 20/-
Attendance Incentive Rs. 70/-
(same outturn as earlier)
Total Rs.290/-
This increase will cost the Companies Rs.1.7 Billion per annum as there are 58 Million man days in the Tea & Rubber Sector. The impact per company is around Rs.80 to Rs.120 Million per annum depending on the workforce.
A worker could now earn Rs.7,250/- per month. In addition, pluckers and tappers are paid for “overkilos” which also could be as much as Rs.40/- to Rs.50/- per day or Rs.1,000/- to Rs.1,250/- per month. The average employment per house-hold in the Plantation Sector is 2.5 workers and hence the monthly family income is between Rs.18,125/- to Rs.21,250/- .In addition to the above, the plantation worker gets many non-wage benefits not enjoyed by the rural/urban worker. These include housing, water, medical, crèches, transport to hospital, cooking fuel (all free) which amounts to approximately Rs.90/- per day or Rs.2,700/- per month. They also get 17 days holiday wages and an attendance bonus of Rs.850/- per annum. They also enjoy three paid holidays and are also entitled to a five years’ gratuity (after five years’ service) even if they work one day in a month. They also receive maternity benefits amounting to Rs.15,840/- for the first two children and Rs.7,920/- for the third or subsequent children. The coffins and gravediggers are also provided free of charge. In fact, they are cared for from the “womb” to the “tomb”.

Sarath Perera

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Trade delegations slot their arrival to SL for IMEXPRO 2008

Trade delegations from 12 countries have already confirmed their participation at IMEXPRO 2008, an International Import – Export Promotion Fair to be held from 14-16 February 2008, at BMICH Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The confirmed delegations are from Singapore, Pakistan, South Korea, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, USA, Jordan, Italy, India, U.A.E. and the Maldives, while inquiries are pouring in from several other countries eager to make use of this exclusive opportunity.

‘IMEXPRO 2008’ is organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Ministry of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services, The Ministry of Export Development and International Trade, The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, The Export Development Board and the Srilankan Airlines Ltd.
HSBC is the Platinum Sponsor of IMEXPRO 2008 along with the SAARC and Trade Promotion Projects implemented jointly by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ.

Through the GTZ-Supported SAARC and Trade Promotion Projects, IMEXPRO 2008 will feature a SAARC Trade Pavilion with all the partner organizations in SAARC countries as well as special stall where business from the eastern region in Sri Lanka can display their products.

HSBC will be the official banker to facilitate currency transactions for overseas delegates visiting IMEXPRO 2008.
With the objective of assisting the Sri Lankan and Overseas Business Community to source suitable business partners, this event will showcase a range of local and international products and services.
The exhibition will feature products and Services under the categories of Agro/Marine, Services and Industrial/Manufactured Products sectors.

Participation is open to Sri Lankan and International organisations /individuals.
With over 300 overseas buyers expected to visit, the visitors will also comprise the
Sri Lankan business community, overseas buyers/sellers, exhibitors (local and foreign) and the general public.
Log on to www.chamber.lk for more information.

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