Sri Lanka – Pakistan u

7 May 2016 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Signing of MoU between Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Karachi.

Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with the support of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce took a 15-member Sri Lankan delegation, comprising of top textile firms, leading textile chain stores, wholesale dealers and importers of fabric in Sri Lanka to attend the first ever textile sector specific exhibition TeXpo Pakistan 2016.

The representatives from firms such as, Cliftex Industries, Fashion Bug, Hafyar Enterprises, Hameedia Designers & Tailors, Merchant Lanka and Hydra Enterprises were among the delegates. The TeXpo 2016 organized by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce Pakistan was held at the Expo Center, Karachi during the month of April. TEXPO 2016 focused on the valueadded textile products like highend garments, hosiery, ready-made garments, knitwear, etc.

As part of the TeXpo 2016 exhibition, a fashion show was also organized to display the strengths of Pakistani fashion and garments industry. Cotton, Home Textile, Fashion Garments, Leather Items, Tents & Canvas Goods as well as machinery were amongst the products displayed at TEXPO 2016. The exhibition attracted delegates from over 62 counties and B2B meetings were arranged to attract foreign delegates to carry out business dealings during the exhibition.

A capital infusion of US$ 150 million (for SriLankan and Mihin Lanka) in the National Budget presented to the Parliament in November 2014, and approved, was not included in the Interim Budget presented in March 2015. The National Budget presented in November 2015 did not contain it either. The finance charges of the Airline stood at Rs.5.6 billion, for the current year an increase of16 percent from last year. Due to the non-receipt of the capital infusion of US$ 125 million, additional bank borrowing had to be taken which resulted in an additional interest charge for the financial year of Rs.1.73 billion. Notwithstanding these challenges, the Airline has been able to make significant savings in controllable cost items which have also contributed to the improved performance. This has been due to increased focus on and scrutiny of costs across all areas. The Airline’s staff have come forward to make constructive suggestions towards cost saving initiatives and also worked hard at negotiating cost reductions with vendors. Given market realities, revenue enhancements are going to be challenging. Therefore the Airline will continue to work on costs,streamlining processes and improving productivity without which the Airline cannot achieve financial selfsufficiency. The Restructuring Plan which was approved by the Cabinet last year recognised that, for a sustainable future, the Airline needed to address certain fundamental problems. Re-structuring the fleet and addressing the issue of the A350-900 aircraft which had been ordered by the previous management was a priority.These aircraft are both inappropriate and too expensive for the Airline, given the current operating environment and the excessive lease costs. The Airline is exploring all options in this regard and hopes to continue with the acquisition of more narrow body aircraft, while delaying or otherwise changing the future wide body aircraft already committed. These negotiations are now at an advanced stage and the Airline has been continuously interacting with the shareholder on this matter. The Restructuring Plan also recognised that significant route rationalisation was required given the recent unprecedented shift in the marketplace. However, the Airline took a measured and phased approach towards route rationalisation, to ensure that any decisions would not have a negative impact on the tourism industry. Therefore all changes are taking place in a phased manner with adequate notice being given to both the travel trade and our customers. At the same time, given the magnitude of the inherited adverse financial situation, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprises have reviewed the funding requirements for the immediate future. The Ministry has advised the Airline that within the next six months it intends to re-structure the financials (including the outstanding debt) of the Airline. The Shareholder has also indicated that it is exploring the option of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Company and has appointed a Special Committee to provide direction on the broader expectations of the GoSL. The Airline will be working closely with the Committee, and under its guidance implementing certain steps necessary to prepare for a possible PPP. The Airline expects that in this process, a clear path to a sustainable, long term future which would be in the interest of all the stakeholders, will be identified and implemented within the next six months.

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