Business

‘Positive Sri Lanka’ to partner businesses to jumpstart economy

Bringing together the community to collaborate on a unique initiative, the campaign Positive Sri Lanka is calling on businesses, big and small, to participate in generating positive momentum in the economy.

Initiated by a group of likeminded private citizens coming together to address the needs of this economic crisis, the Positive Sri Lanka campaign was launched on 20 June 2019 at Galle Face Hotel, in the presence of the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and other prominent business leaders including CEOs, CFOs, and CMOs of potential retailers, trade bodies, the leisure sector, bankers, the FMCG industry, and MNCs. A panel discussion was held at the event by a high-profile lineup of personalities, namely CBSL Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Asanka De Mel from Lovi, JWT CEO Alyna Haji Omar, and Deshal de Mel from the Ministry of Finance. The moderator for the discussion was Aritha Wickramasinghe.

The panel debated the worrisome economic consequences of the Easter Sunday attacks and their impact on the livelihoods of thousands of people and the future of many businesses. The business objective of this not-for-profit campaign is to generate Rs. 90 billion worth of revenue inside the country over a short period of two months in a bold bid to jumpstart the economy once again, with proactive participation across retail, consumer goods, sports and entertainment, leisure, travel and hospitality, education, health, culture and heritage, art, fashion, and connectivity sectors. Many of Sri Lanka’s iconic brands have already pledged allegiance to Positive Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the campaign, JWT CEO Alyna Haji Omar said: “Positive Sri Lanka is a campaign that motivates businesses to take ownership for creating change, without leaving it to others or staying on the sidelines overcome by fear and uncertainty. We invite businesses of all kinds to shoulder this responsibility and join in to create a reason for people to go out and spend, enjoy time with their families and friends, and stimulate the economy once again. The future of the country is at stake and we, as the business community, need to join hands and make this happen in an urgent manner. We envision this project to generate positive momentum for thousands of businesses and boost the perception of Sri Lanka amongst tourists, so that it’s business as usual once again.

“Our dream is to see Sri Lankans mobilising to reclaim their economic security and to drive normalcy.

The economy needs urgent resuscitation and we are humbled to see so many businesses already coming onboard and taking the lead.”

The partners in this campaign are the Retail Association of Sri Lanka, Bar and Restaurant Association, SLAITO, CIMA, and CSBM, and are the main bodies bringing their retail locations on board. The Sunday Morning Newspaper, Wijeya Newspapers, and the Maharaja network and their digital platforms have extended massive support. The campaign will run till end-August and even beyond, as the need arises.

Adding further, Asanka de Mel from Lovi explained: “The Positive Sri Lanka campaign is leveraging the voice and power of the business community to take charge of the narrative about Sri Lanka, turn the economy around, and generate a positive sentiment about business in quick-time by offering deals, discounts, and free products as a mega shopping festival.

“Every second we waste doing nothing to change the current status quo costs millions in losses to businesses. Yet another objective of this campaign is to create a fund which will be managed through Trail Sri Lanka, a well respected charity partner, to help the victims and their families through the long recovery process. Trail Sri Lanka has a strong track record, eminent trustees, and proven fundraising capabilities and we are honoured to have them partner us.

“The Positive Sri Lanka project is empowering businesses to make profits while doing good. It will be a win-win for all stakeholders in the nation.”

Further information can be obtained from the website www.srilankaispositive.com or Facebook and Instagram by entering srilankaispositive in the search bar.