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'Sri Lanka poised to forge a maritime symbiosis with Vietnam, South East Asia’s Logistics Hub in the making'
Port MD

Mr.Nalin Aponso - Deputy Chief Manager (Communication & PR), Capt. Nihal Keppetipola - Managing Director of SLPA, Mr.Upul Jayatissa - Chief Manager (Marketing & BD) of SLPA  at the ASEAN Ports and Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Vietnam.

Capt.Nihal Keppetipola - Managing Director of SLPA meets Mr.Ho Kim Lan - Secretary General of Vietnam Sea-Ports Association and Prof.Dr.Nguyen Ngoc Hue -  Director General of Vietnam Maritime Administration.

(From the right) Capt.Nihal Keppetipola - Managing Director of SLPA,  Mr.Jan Vannieuwenburg, General Manager, China/Asia, Port Authority Bruges – Zeebrugge, Belgium, Mr.John Cushing, General Director, SP – SSA International Container Services Joint Venture Company (SSIT), Vietnam and Mr.Mark Millar, Managing Director, M Power Associates, Hong Kong.


Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), said this at the 9th ASEAN Ports and Shipping Conference and Exhibition held in the Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam recently. The event had been organized by Malaysian-based Transport Events Management Limited, a leading Exhibition and Conference organizer in the field of international transportation and logistics, under the aegis of the Ministry of Transport, Vietnam. SLPA had also had a stall at the exhibition site showcasing all its services in audio and visual form to some 500 odd conference delegates, not limiting to ASEAN countries and other invited parties related to logistics and transport in the region. 

Capt. Keppetipola making a comprehensive presentation covering all local maritime development projects worth several billions of US dollars currently undertaken by the SLPA at the conference said that Sri Lanka’s geostrategic location at the nexus of crucial maritime trading routes in the Indian Ocean connecting Europe and the Middle east to China and the rest of Asia, have made it the logistics hub in South Asia and it is qualified in every respect to synergize between South Asia and South East Asia by forging a symbiosis with the emerging logistics hub, Vietnam. 

In its history, this was the first attempt made by SLPA outside the Indian Subcontinent with a view to forging synergies with the players in the industry through showcasing Sri Lanka’s maritime development projects and according to Capt. Keppetipola, many such events of this nature would follow in the future in order to capitalize on emerging market windows in the region.  

Director General of Vietnam Maritime Administration, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hue revealed in his keynote address at the conference that all ASEAN countries have implemented series of integration programs with the desire of building a powerful ASEAN economic community in 2015, in which commodities, direct investment sources, services and capitals will move freely in the region countries.


Notably, the Vietnamese maritime sector is having ambitious and attractive development plans for shipping, ports and maritime services in the years to come with focus on deep water ports in all parts of the country. With annual growth of more than 6% in GDP and high to positive annual container traffic volume, which is considered high in time of economic uncertainty in other regions and combined with other potentials, Vietnam is attracting key players in the world port and shipping industry to explore and position their businesses in the country. 

 “Now ASEAN is beginning to take shape and develop key economic sectors as to compete with other economic communities in the region and in the world. In order to get such target, it is necessary to have shipping, ports and logistics service policy in ASEAN, to support these activities and to improve the quality, efficiency and close linkage between economies and enterprises of countries in the region” added, Mr. Ngoc in his keynote address. 

The conference featured world-class business leaders who analyzed latest global transportation and logistic issues and was attended by a gathering  of senior executive delegates from over 25 countries consisting of the world’s leading shipping lines, shippers, cargo owners, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, logistics companies, ports, terminal operating companies, port equipment and services suppliers. The exhibition also featured a rich collection of cargo handling equipment manufactured by world class manufacturers specialized in this area. 

The conference and exhibition paved the way, not only for ASEAN member countries but also for outside countries to find many opportunities to set up cooperation, joint ventures in each specific sector with the purpose of mutual benefits and in the final analysis, it was an excellent forum for networking and collaboration with concrete solutions to issues and challenges faced by regional ports and shipping business.  

The Managing Director of SLPA Capt.Nihal Keppetipola was accompanied by Mr.Upul Jayatissa -  the Chief Manager (Marketing & BD) of SLPA  and Mr.Nalin Aponso - the Deputy Chief Manager (Communication & PR) of SLPA at the   ASEAN Ports and Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Vietnam.

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