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Prices of several goods including mobile phones to be reduced

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Prices of several goods including mobile phones, refrigerators, fans and fruits are expected to come down after the Central Bank of Sri Lanka announced that it has decided to scrap the provision requiring individuals to deposit 100 per cent cash margin while opening letter of credit (LC) to import 843 products.

Last year, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank imposed a 100% cash margin deposit requirement against the importation of selected goods of non-essential/non-urgent nature made under Letters of Credit to preserve the stability of the exchange rate and foreign currency market liquidity.

In an order issued under the Monetary Law, the Central Bank imposed a 100% cash deposit margin on several other imports on Feb 16, 2023 as well.

However, both orders have been scrapped with the improvement in foreign currency reserves.

Accordingly, the prices of telecommunication devices such as mobile telephones and fixed telephones, home appliances such as fans, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, digital cameras, heaters, lamps and ovens, clothing and accessories such as babies’ garments, jerseys, shirts and blouses, suits, track suits and swimwear, footwear, watches and sunglasses, household and furniture items and fruits including fresh apples, grapes, oranges and dried fruits are expected to reduce in the coming weeks.

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Apple brings ChatGPT to its devices

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Apple unveiled a long-awaited AI strategy yesterday (10 June), integrating Apple Intelligence across its suite of apps, including Siri, and announced a partnership with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT to its devices.

The AI features were unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and the tech giant also showed its latest operating system for its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset and iPhone.

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Sri Lanka among Forbes’ top three must-visit destinations for Summer ’24

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Sri Lanka has been named among the top three must-visit destinations for summer ’24 by Forbes. The other two are Greece and Mauritius.

Travel blogger Kathleen Peddicord writing for Forbes states “With all that Sri Lanka has to offer, combined with its tourism authority’s marketing efforts and the proliferation of wellness and luxury hotels, I see Sri Lanka growing in popularity this summer and beyond”.

“It made Travel + Leisure’s list of “The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024” and its south and central regions show up on Condé Nast Traveller’s “The 24 Best Places to Go in 2024,” she adds.

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Sri Lanka features positively in GSER Report 2024 

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Sri Lanka featured in GSER Report 2024

Sri Lanka has got positive reviews in the latest Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), launched at London Tech Week yesterday (10).

The report, compiled by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) ranked Sri Lanka within the world’s top 10 for affordable talent and within the top 30 in Asia in talent and experience. It also placed Sri Lanka in the Top 35 in Asia for funding.

Reasons to move startups to Sri Lanka, according to the report, include access to talent, startup-friendly environment and supportive community.

Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley remains at the top in the GSER 2024, followed by New York City and London, tied for the number two spot.

Singapore ranked as the best ecosystem for startups in Asia, followed by Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai. Bengaluru-Karnataka is ranked sixth followed by Delhi and Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Mumbai in Asia’s top 10.

Apart from those in the Top 10, Sri Lanka, Kerala, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Tamil Nadu and Telangana were featured among the select few ecosystems that were highlighted in the report.  Madrid moved up 12 ranks, claiming the number one spot in the Emerging Ecosystems Ranking.

Insights include the decline in global VC funding, the scarcity of IPOs, the resilience of Cleantech investments and the surge in Generative AI funding.

The GSER analyses data from over 4.5 million companies across over 300 entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems. Its rankings indicate which ecosystems are currently driving innovation and feature startup trends around the world.

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