Saudi firms invited for export development forum in Lanka

Updated 06 September 2016
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Saudi firms invited for export development forum in Lanka

RIYADH: The “16th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) is scheduled to be held in  Colombo, Sri Lanka, from  Oct. 12 to 13 under the theme of ‘Trade for Success: Connect, Compete, Change’.
The World Export Development Forum (WEDF) is an annual flagship event of the International Trade Center (ITC), Geneva, which brings together around 400 business practitioners from around the world to debate and identify practical solutions that contribute to trade-led inclusive sustainable development.
A special feature of WEDF 2016 in Colombo is a schedule of dedicated Business to Business (B2B) meetings for which over 100 Sri Lankan companies from the sectors mentioned below will be participating.
This will offer an excellent platform for Saudi Companies to meet business partners from Sri Lanka.
Special incentives such as a 25 percent discount on airfare on Sri Lankan Airlines and concessionary accommodation for 3 nights, etc. will be offered for potential Saudi businesses.
The sectors in focus are: information and communication technologies (ICTs), apparels, tourism, rubber-based products,
specialty food: tea and spices, manufacturing products and processed food.
South Asia’s most focused and largest international Boat Show and Fisheries Exhibition 2016 will also be held from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15 in Colombo and participants of the World Export Development Forum will be given an opportunity to visit this event as well.
Presentations on Investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka product Exhibitions will also take place in parallel to WEDF 2016.
Investors and companies interested in taking part in these events can contact Gayan Rajapaksa/commercial secretary/Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh (Tel: 011 4608251, mobile: 050 4481634 fax: 011-4608846, and e-mail: [email protected]/[email protected])


Japan’s economy contracts as natural disasters hit

Updated 31 min 14 sec ago
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Japan’s economy contracts as natural disasters hit

  • ‘Natural disasters forced consumers to stay indoors and halted factory operations, which led to a slowdown in production and investment activities’
  • ‘Going forward, we remain optimistic that the economy will improve’

TOKYO: Japan’s economy shrank in the three months to September, official data showed Wednesday, after a string of natural disasters hit consumer spending and exports, and China’s slowing economy cast a shadow.
Gross domestic product for the July-September period contracted 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, reversing growth of 0.8 percent in the April-June period, according to the government’s Cabinet Office.
A number of natural disasters dampened personal consumption, company investment and exports, said Katsunori Kitakura, lead strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.
“Natural disasters forced consumers to stay indoors and halted factory operations, which led to a slowdown in production and investment activities,” he said in a commentary ahead of the data release.
Japan was hit by several natural disasters this summer, including massive flooding in western regions due to torrential rains, a typhoon that inundated a major international airport, and an earthquake in the north that disrupted supply lines.
The temporary closure of the Kansai International Airport led to a fall in tourism and overseas shipments, Kitakura said.
Exports of goods and services were down 1.8 percent from the April-June quarter, with private consumption slumping 0.1 percent and corporate investment in plants and equipment off 0.2 percent.
But Kitakura anticipated a rebound in the last quarter of the year thanks to a broadly solid global economy.
“Going forward, we remain optimistic that the economy will improve. While we remain cautious on China-US trade, the global economy continues to show solid growth and exports should continue to rise,” he said.
Kohei Iwahara, economist at Natixis Japan Securities, noted that one of the major drivers for the Japanese economy has been external factors like exports.
“But the trade war uncertainties have begun to increase, we see some slowdown in Asia and that is gradually hitting Japan,” he said.
For the rest of the year, Iwahara said he was “cautiously optimistic” as the effects of the natural disasters will fade in the final quarter.
Additionally, “the government could introduce a new fiscal stimulus package so that the economy will not fall apart and ... they can hike the consumption tax next year,” he said.
Japan has announced a long-delayed sales tax hike will go into effect in October 2019 to address the nation’s huge public debt, despite warnings it could hobble growth by dampening already lackluster consumer spending.
The point-of-sale tax will rise from eight percent to 10 percent as the aging and heavily indebted country battles to finance snowballing social security bills — especially medical fees.
The last such move — in April 2014 — was blamed for tipping Japan into a brief recession.
This time, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes he can avoid a sharp decline in consumer spending by introducing measures to cushion the blow, including plans to leave the sales tax on food unchanged.