14th April, 2023 | Volume - 9 - 01/04
Sri Lankan “Lion Beer” introduced to the Indian markets
Colombo Page | 12th April
First time in its history, Sri Lanka’s renowned global brand “Lion Beer” successfully unveiled its presence in the Indian market.
As an initiative made by Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the Southern India Dr. Venkateshwaran to promote Sri Lankan products in the Indian market, necessary steps were taken to collaborate M/S Lion Brewery PLC, Sri Lanka and M/S Fairmacs Pvt, Ltd, Chennai, India to introduce Lion Beer in the Indian duty-free market.
KKS port expansion underway to facilitate launch Sri Lanka and India ferry service
The Island | 13th April
The Navy has launched a major construction project to expand the Kankesanthurai habour to facilitate the commencement of passenger ferry services between Kankesanthurai port and Pondicherry, India.
The Navy headquarters said that the project was meant to provide a more affordable and convenient mode of transportation.
SL signs MoU with Japan for employment, investment and tourism
Daily Mirror | 14th April
The Government of Sri Lanka and a leading business enterprise in Japan, Pasona Group have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding employment opportunities for Sri Lankan workers in Japan, human resource development, bringing Japanese investments to Sri Lanka and promoting tourism.
The MoU was signed at the “Wave Riding Festival” theater in Awaji Island during the official visit of Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara to Japan. The MoU has been signed between the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment and Pasona Group.
UAE confirms to IMF support of $1bn for Pakistan: Dar
Dawn | 14th April
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Friday that the United Arab Emirates has confirmed its commitment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its bilateral financial support of $1 billion to Pakistan, bringing the country one step closer to securing a deal with the lender which is critical for avoiding default.
“UAE authorities have confirmed to IMF for their bilateral support of US $1 billion to Pakistan,” Dar said in a tweet today.
Khar to attend Afghanistan neighbours moot today
Dawn | 13th April
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will lead a Pakistani delegation to the 4th meeting of the “Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan” to be held in Samarkand on Thursday (today).
On the sidelines of the ministerial huddle, Ms Khar will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of the participating states.
Muttaqi Heads to Samarkand to Attend 4th Ministers’ Meeting
The Khaama Press | 13th April
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister, left Kabul for Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to attend the fourth meeting of foreign ministers among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan.
Hafiz Zia Ahmad, Deputy Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, tweeted on Thursday that Muttaqi is expected to meet with the Foreign Ministers of Regional countries on the sidelines of the Samarkand meeting.
Chinese FM to attend meeting of Afghanistan neighbors in Uzbekistan
Afghanistan Times | 12th April
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang will be attending the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting of neighboring countries of Afghanistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from April 12 to 13.
He has been invited by Uzbekistan’s acting foreign minister Bakhtiyor Saidov, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Tuesday at a regular press briefing.
WFP: $800M Urgently Needed for Afghanistan
TOLO News | 11th April
The World Food Program (WFP) said that it urgently needs $800 million for the next six months to help Afghanistan, which is at the highest risk of famine in a quarter of a century.
Wahid Amani, a spokesman for the WFP, said the organization needs funds to continue humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
PM’s Japan visit: Dhaka, Tokyo likely to sign 8-10 deals, MoUs
Prothom Alo | 13th April
Both the governments of Bangladesh and Japan hope that this visit will further strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries.
Japan wants to elevate the bilateral ties with Bangladesh to a “strategic” level, adding more elements like defence and security areas to the growing relations, says a diplomatic source.
The two countries now have a comprehensive partnership, and Japan intends to elevate it.
Bangladesh records 14,800MW power generation Tuesday
Prothom Alo | 12th April
Bangladesh made a record in power generation this year the country generated 14,800 megawatts electricity by 9:00pm on Tuesday, BSS reports.
As the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) reported, the country’s grid at present has the installed capacity of 23,482MW.
Of the total capacity, 14,800MW power was generated on Tuesday alone which broke all the previous records. It is recorded as the highest daily power generation in the country so far.
Bangladesh, Iran have ample scope to boost bilateral trade, investment
Bangladesh Post | 12th April
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday urged Iran to work together with Bangladesh to expedite bi-lateral trade and investment through strengthening relationship of the two countries.
Minister has made the call while exchanging views with the Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh Mansur Chavosi as the envoy called on Minister at his office at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
GoI to facilitate Bhutan-Bangladesh electricity trade
Kuensel | 14th April
The Government of India (GoI) has agreed to facilitate the export of electricity from Bhutan to Bangladesh through India.
Bangladesh plans to initially import around 1,500MW of electricity from Bhutan.
According to the foreign and external trade ministry, the proposed trilateral hydropower cooperation among Bhutan, Bangladesh, and India, both the government, India and Bhutan expressed their commitment towards greater sub-regional cooperation, including in the energy sector, which would lead to increased inter-linkages between the economies for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.
IMF raises Bhutan’s 2023 GDP growth forecast to 4.7 percent
Kuensel | 13th April
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Bhutan’s economy to expand from 4.3 percent last year to 4.7 percent in 2023.
It was an upward revision by 0.4 percent from its earlier forecast of 4.3 percent six months ago.
This was according to the IMF’s biannual “World Economic Outlook” released on April 11 this year. However, the IMF said that the growth is expected to slow down to 3.4 percent in 2024.
Dengue and flu cases rose in March
Sun | 13th April
Statistics released by Health Protection Agency (HPA) show cases of dengue and flu rose in March, compared to February.
The monthly statistics released by HPA shows 169 cases of dengue were reported in March. It is 23 cases higher than the 146 cases in February.
Meanwhile, 37,969 cases of flu were reported in March. The figure is 7,341 cases higher than the 30,628 cases reported in February.
Maldives temporarily halts leasing uninhabited islands
The Edition | 12th April
Due to amendments being made to the regulations, the leasing of uninhabited islands has been temporarily halted.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture on Wednesday issued a notice announcing amendments to the Uninhabited Islands Act, which governs the lease of islands in the Maldives. Therefore, under Section 11 of the Act, the acceptance of applications for the lease of uninhabited islands has been temporarily suspended.
Over 58,000 visitors welcomed so far in April
Raajje | 13th April
More than 58,000 visitors have been welcomed so far in April.
This was revealed by the Ministry of Tourism in its latest daily statistics, publicized on Tuesday.
As such, ministry statistics reveal that between April 1 – 10, Maldives recorded a total of 58,704 tourist arrivals.
The arrival figure for the ongoing month is 14.5 percent higher than the 51,277 arrivals recorded in the same period last year and much higher than the 35,823 arrivals recorded in the same period of 2021.
Myanmar Junta Increases Military Budget to US$2.7 Billion
The Irrawaddy | 10th April
Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has approved a military budget of more than 5.6 trillion kyats (around US$2.7 billion) for the 2023-24 fiscal year, which begins this month, up from 3.7 trillion kyats last year.
Min Aung Hlaing promised to crush the resistance movement during his Armed Forces Day speech on March 27.
The junta has approved an overall budget of nearly 20 trillion kyats.
EU’s new project to support Myanmar’s garment industry faces backlash
Myanmar Now | 13th April
A new programme funded by the European Union (EU) to stimulate clothing production in Myanmar has met with criticism from workers’ rights advocates, who say it will legitimise the military regime without benefitting workers.
The European Chamber of Commerce (Myanmar) and the German-based Seaqua Group plan to carry out the project—dubbed the Multi-Stakeholder Alliance for Decent Employment in the Myanmar apparel industry, or “MADE in Myanmar”—according to a four-year implementation plan, funded by €3m from the EU and additional contributions from various clothing brands.
Government directs health facilities to be prepared for possible COVID-19 risk
The Himalayan Times | 12th April
The Ministry of Health and Population has instructed various health facilities to remain on standby in view of increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country. The direction came as the daily graph of fresh COVID-19 cases is going up lately.
Cases of mutated Omicron sub-variant XBB1.16.1 of COVID-19 found in neighbouring India have been recorded lately in Nepal as well.
Policy inconsistency delays Budhi Gandaki project
The Kathmandu Post | 14th April
After many trials and errors for over a decade, the government appears to have reached a conclusion that no company is better placed than the Nepal Electricity Authority to develop the 1200MW Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project.
The government is now prepared to give a majority stake to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in the Budhi Gandaki Jalavidyut Public Limited, the company set up for developing the country’s largest storage-type project.
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