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Saturday, December 7, 2019
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 Colombo port - One of the few to serve large ships

Rohan Masakorala

With the completion of the development activities in the Colombo port, it will be one of the few ports to serve large ships, which are at present used frequently in the global shipping industry.

The current growth level in the regional shipping industry, which records a continuous growth, has created viable business for the industrialists. Therefore, it is important to address the regulatory reforms that are necessary to further fuel the growth, Colombo Shippers’ Academy Chief Executive Officer and Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) Senior Consultant Rohan Masakorala told Daily News Business.

The Government needs to introduce anti competitive regulatory reforms to eliminate such practices. The Government intervention is necessary while ensuring the free market operation, he said.

The anti competitive practices will adversely affect the shipping community and the rates should not be increased in an ad hoc manner. The pricing should be similar to that of developed countries and need to have rationality in the pricing mechanism, he said.

In keeping with the budget proposals certain Acts are amended to facilitate the process to enable Sri Lanka to become a trading hub. The respective committees are working on these issues at present.

The construction of five kilometres of the Colombo South Port breakwater project is on schedule and will be completed by the end of this year. The industrialists expect the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) to complete the terminal building with an investor partner. The terminal will be operative by early 2013.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa (Magampura) Port will take a few years to reach the operational level. The SLPA needs to position it as a friendly and competitive port to attract businesses. It needs to differentiate and be innovative to become competitive. There should be an immediate financial and marketing plans and an awareness building process to ensure sufficient business is attracted to the port, he said.

“The regional ports are competing and the competition is healthy to improve the level of efficiency.

We need to do our job right to bring in business for the country. Sri Lanka could capitalize on its position on global shipping industry where the country is ranked around 30th among the container ports. It is considered as a main transshipment hub,” he sad.

“The shipping industry is faced with the uncertainty in the global oil prices and the market being imbalanced. We see lot of major fluctuations in the freight charges. However, the global economic recovery will have a positive impact on the shipping industry where Sri Lanka could benefit from,” Masakorala said.

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