PM outlines maritime hub developments at CIMC
The government hopes to have a special economic zone in Trincomalee
and a new container handing facility in the Port of Trincomalee while
another economic zone will be set up in the Ruhuna region and further
develop ports and the maritime industry with the aim of becoming a hub,
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said last week.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the CIMC discussion.
Seated alongside are Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, the
President and the Managing Director of CINEC, Captain Ajith
Peiris, and CEO of Shippers’ Academy Colombo, Rohan
Delivering the keynote speech at the Colombo International Maritime
Conference (CIMC) 2016, which was held from September 21-23 , the Prime
Minister outlined initiatives being taken to further expand and
modernise ports and airports to exploit the country’s geographic
location in the Indian Ocean.
A Ruhunu Development Corporation is being set up to oversee the
development of the South where 17,000 acres is being allocated for a new
industrial zone, Premier Wickremesinghe told the conference. The
Hambantota harbour and Mattala International airport which will be
developed using the public- private partnerships (PPP) model, will be
under its purview.
The CIMC, held for the second year, saw the participation of over 400
delegates along with 60 international speakers. The Conference was
organized under the Maritime Week program, parallel to World Maritime
Week, to educate investors and the public on maritime opportunities in
The government is also exploring further development of the Colombo
Port to create a Northern Port while building a second runway at the
Katunayake International Airport.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the government will seek
assistance from India and Japan to develop Trincomalee with Surbana
Jurong of Singapore being contracted to draw up a city master plan.
The proposed container terminal at the Trincomalee Port will serve
trade in India’s east coast as well as Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The government aims to develop Sri Lanka’s shipping industry to go
beyond being a container transhipment hub for the South Asian region and
make it a broader hub serving a wide range of maritime related
Sri Lanka hopes to take part in China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ new Silk
Route initiative to develop trade in the region as well as India’s
‘Sagarmala’ port development project, the PM said. He said Sri Lanka
should link more closely with fast growing southern Indian states such
as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka with which the
island has had strong historical trade and cultural connections.