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 Sri Lanka Ports, Trade & Logistics Conference and Exhibition  kicks off at Hilton Colombo
 

From Left; Chris Hayman – Chairman of Seatrade, Noboru Ueda – Chairman & President of ClassNK, Hon.Minister of Transport – Kumara Welgama, Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama – Chairman of SLPA, Dr.Nihal Samarappuli – Chairman/Director of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Dr.Willie Gamage – Chairman of the strategic Enterprise Management Agency.

 Sri Lanka Ports, Trade & Logistics two day Conference and Exhibition  that commences on the 10th July 2012 with the initiative of Hon.Minister of Transport - Kumara Welgama at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo. The conference supported by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), is another  important annual fixture in the international maritime events diary. Concentrating on the salient issues that will drive economic, investment and business activities in Sri Lanka, this timely conference and exhibition is also set to become a knowledge platform to propel Sri Lanka’s economy. 

Expressing views at the inauguration of the event, Hon. Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama stated that since November 2005 Sri Lanka under the visionary leadership of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa embarked on a humanitarian operation and succeeded successfully in wiping out terrorism which was prevalent for about three decades and laid the foundation for the rapid economic development of the country within the global framework. “Although Sri Lanka was one of the pioneering Asian economies in removing barriers to global trade, investment and finance, in order to become a vibrant global partner in economic development, it could not exploit its full potential owing to brutal terrorism that crippled its social fabric and economic fundamentals. And today, seven years after President Rajapaksa assuming office, Sri Lanka enjoys a relatively sophisticated all island infrastructure network,” the Minister said. 

Speaking on the roles and responsibilities of the state, the private sector and lending agencies in the development of the regional maritime centre – a leading Sri Lanka state agency perspective, Dr.Willie Gamage – Chairman of the strategic Enterprise Management Agency said that it was important to appreciate the pivotal role played by state Owned Enterprises not just in Sri Lanka, but in many economies around the world, in acting as a catalyst for generating export and import business for the shipping and ports sector. “It is therefore, a priority area for the state to keep investing in the ports sector, whilst at the same time, governments have also realized the importance inviting the private sector to participate to ensure efficiency of port operations,” he added. 

Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama – Chairman of SLPA  at the keynote opening session address on requirement of an efficient, integrated communication system to convert Sri Lanka to a real maritime hub stated that  Sri Lanka being an Island nation, Maritime activities play a vital role in her socio economic status. “Similar to many other maritime nations who develop their maritime activities to enhance their national economy, Sri Lanka has taken steps to harness the potential offered through it’s locational advantage to develop into a key maritime and logistics centre in the region. In the country’s economic performance , the service sector such as trade, financial services, telecommunications, road transport and the port services being the important contributors has been the dominant factor contributing a significant percentage to the GDP,” he further said.

Sri Lanka Ports, Trade & Logistics two day Conference and Exhibition  also includes an extensive social programme of a Golf Networking afternoon, a Gala Dinner with the launch of a regional Seatrade Maritime awards evening at the Cinnamon Lake and a Cocktail Reception at the British High Commission in Colombo. 

Mr. Ranjith Silva- Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Mr.Anura Jayawickrama – Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Highways, Mr. Indike Karunajeewa – Vice Chairman of SLPA, Capt.Nihal Keppetipola – Managing Director of SLPA, Mr.Norman Weerarathne – Additional Managing Director of SLPA and a large number of domestic and foreign distinguished guests and participants were also present at the inauguration of the event.
(CPRD10072012)

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