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Sunday, 25 September 2016





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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 Masakorala.

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 Sri Lanka.

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 businesses.

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.


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