Sri Lanka Ports, Trade & Logistics Conference: The future of Sri Lanka is bright

May 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

COLOMBO – Organised by Seatrade and hosted by Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the last day of Sri Lanka Ports, Trade & Logistics Conference, Exhibition & Awards started with a two hour port tour of the Colombo Port, hosted by Sri Lanka Ports Authority, for the participants of the event. The tour consisted of a visit to the existing harbour and a look at the port expansion project including the breakwaters, concluded with a breakfast organised at the port.

During the tour, all participants received valuable insights about the current status of the Colombo Port Expansion Project, its achievements and next project stages. After the conclusion of the brakewater construction, the current phase of construction is the South Container Terminal, within which China Merchant Holdings is constructing and will operate the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT), with the first 400 m to be completed by July 2013 and another 600 m to be completed by end of this year. In addition, 400 m of the East Container Terminal operated by Sri Lanka Ports Authority are planned to be completed by the third quarter of 2014. The entire Colombo Port Expansion Project is planned to be finished by 2020.

The last day of the event proceeded with five conference sessions, focused on important themes from the maritime and logistics industry. The first morning session covered large infrastructure projects in the Indian Ocean, Vishvjeet Kanwarpal, CEO, GIS – Global InfraSys Ltd & Asia Consulting Group Ltd, said that considering Sri Lanka’s increasingly important role in Asian transportation, “the future of Sri Lanka is bright, with an impressive growth even within the recession”.

During the second morning session speakers emphasised the main strengths of seafarer training in Sri Lanka, including a well established education infrastructure, widespread usage and knowledge of English, substantial involvement from the private sector, applications well in excess of training positions, and unified regulatory (single legislation for training), as stated by Thomas Kriwat, Managing Director, Mercmarine Group of Companies.

The afternoon conference sessions started with an analysis of the potential of the offshore and onshore energy development and production in Sri Lanka, emphasising the role of private companies’ investments in the development of hydrocarbon resources, successful projects’ development, production and monetisation of Sri Lanka’s hydrocarbon resources and the importance of the maritime sector, with Sri Lanka becoming a major bunkering hub in South Asia.

Within the last conference sessions two other relevant themes were discussed: Securing safe passage and protecting against threats at sea, exposing the developing role of Sri Lanka, and the Waterborne tourism and marina development. This concluded the 2nd successful edition of the Sri Lanka Ports, Trade & Logistics Conference, Exhibition & Awards.

With a rapidly growing economy, big port projects and other infrastructure planned to capitalise on its geographical location next to the fast expanding Indian and Chinese economies, Sri Lanka is well placed to continue the momentum to become an integral part of South Asia’s drive to assume its position as one of the most important global economic areas!