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Sunday, October 20, 2019
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 Ports development on a fast pace

Dr P B Wickrama

The shipping industry has recorded 33 percent growth in January, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama said. He was speaking at a seminar on opportunities from port development organized by the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce last week.

Sri Lanka will act as an active hub in the region with the completion of port development activities.

The shipping industry recorded continuous growth last year. It recorded 33 percent growth in January this year.

The Colombo Port handled 4.1 million TEUs last year, a growth of 19.4 percent compared to 16.2 percent growth by Shanghai, 9.9 percent growth by Singapore and 12 percent growth by HongKong. “The Colombo Port performed well last year and will continue to perform well this year too,” he said.

The Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port will be made a free port with the legalization by gazette notification by next month. The tank farm will be completed in May and will be commissioned by July.

It is expected to start bunkering this year at a competitive rate to attract new businesses.

Hambantota will be developed as a well planned port city that provides services and logistic facilities, Dr Wickrama said.

There are opportunities in the trade and commerce sectors and port development will facilitate continuous growth momentum.

Sri Lanka played a major role in the world trade in the past and could re-position itself to regain this situation.

“Port development activities will place Sri Lanka on the world trade map and the regional shipping industry will play an active role,” he said.

“We need to plan and be ready with port development activities to capture growing global trade opportunities. There is a need to complete infrastructure development projects to enable the establishment of a hub status. The on going port development projects will be completed fully by 2020 and the country should attract business in terms of volume and revenue,” he said.

“Institutional integration is important for better and more productive output targeting wider market penetration,” he said.

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