Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka

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Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, venue for the 2014 UNCITRAL South Asia Seminar

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Progress made by ICTA in electronic and  cyber laws pays dividends
 
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNCITRAL-RCAP) will conduct its South Asia Seminar on 18th and 19th September 2014 in Colombo. Held in association with the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), this seminar  will be the first ever significant event of UNCITRAL hosted in Sri Lanka, in more than 20 years.
 
The two-day seminar will bring in more than 15 foreign experts who would join their Sri Lankan counterparts as keynote speakers, panel discussion moderators, and members of panels. Each panel discussion will address a variety of commercial law subjects. 
 
According to Joao Ribeiro, Head of UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and Pacific “the panel discussions will specially focus on electronic dimensions of commercial law and electronic communications. It will be an ideal opportunity to bring together senior commercial law practitioners, government lawyers, policy leaders and decision makers”.
 
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The rise of Sri Lanka's e-government services

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Sri Lanka as a country is growing rapidly in every aspect. The country has achieved better gross domestic product (GDP) rates, a single digit level inflation, a solid GDP per capita income and low unemployment rates over the last two years, with positive contributions from key sectors of the economy. This growth is expected to produce better results in upcoming years with a high momentum, supported by an increase in investment, a favourable macroeconomic environment and continued recovery in the global economy.

Overlook of the ICT sector
In such an environment, Sri Lanka's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector has grown in a remarkable fashion. According to the latest report titled 'Sri Lankan IT/BPM Industry 2014 Review' by Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM), IT sector's export revenue grew from US$ 213 million in 2007 to an estimated US$ 720 million in 2013. Total employment grew from 33,700 in 2007 to an estimated 75,100 employees in 2013, and the number of companies in the industry grew from 170 in 2007 to over 220 in 2013.

The government has set a strategic goal for the sector which is to achieve US$ 1 billion worth of IT exports by 2016. ICT authority bodies such as the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and SLASSCOM have worked tirelessly over the last five years with other stakeholders in the industry to make this US$ 1 billion target a realistic goal.
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Marked increase of nominations for e-Swabhimani 2014

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About 250 nominations have been received for e-Swabhimani 2014 – the national award for the  best e-content and innovative ICT applications, says the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).

During the next few weeks these nominations will be carefully  judged by a jury comprising local and international experts. 
 
The fifth annual presentation of e-Swabhimani awards will be held in Colombo in November (2014).
Further information could be known from www.eswabhimani.lk.
 
Explaining the raison de e’tre of e-Swabhimani ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura said:  “Recognising  that the disparities in accessing information and communication technologies that exist in the society today stem not only from inadequate infrastructure but also from the lack of appropriate content, the ICTA initiated the e-Swabhimani Award in 2009. The aim of this   Award is to encourage and incentivise local developers to come up with innovative applications and digital content that will impact on society as a whole.  The design and development of good quality content and applications require creative imagination, engineering know-how as well as financial resources. Moreover creation of content and applications for societal use is often not addressed by commercial software developers since it does not generate much profit.  It is therefore recognised that there is a need to incentivise and facilitate content creation”.
 
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