APL opens new office in Colombo considering Sri Lanka’s prospects of becoming an Indian Ocean hub
One of the world’s leading container shipping lines, APL has reportedly said it has opened a new office in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, Colombo. APL has stated that Colombo has good prospects to become an Indian Ocean hub.
“Sri Lanka remains an important market for APL’s development in the Indian Subcontinent,” a statement has noted.
The global ocean carrier has said the new office in the business centre of Colombo is a reaffirmation of its commitment to contribute to Sri Lanka’s regional hub ambitions.
APL has further reported that Sri Lanka’s neighbouring economies such as Bangladesh and India that trans-ship significant cargo volumes via Colombo “have continued to grow robustly, auguring well for Sri Lanka’s prospects as an Indian Ocean hub.”
Colombo began container operations with APL when vessel SS President Tyler first berthed in Queen Elizabeth Quay (QEQ) in December 1973.
According to APL, Sri Lanka’s Vision 2025 involves a trade policy revamp to enable an export-driven economy; and port infrastructure and services expansion to capture the growing trans-shipment trade across production networks in the East and markets in the West.
“As a global carrier, APL will support the course by facilitating market connectivity through reliable shipping services and solutions.”
APL, now part of the CMA CGM worldwide shipping group, offers six weekly mainline services including the Far East Express 6 (FX6), China India Express (CIX) and Pendulum Loop 1 (PE1) services among others.
According to reports, FX6 links Sri Lanka to the key European ports of Rotterdam, Felixstowe and Hamburg.
CIX connects Colombo to Central China, South China, Singapore and the Indian ports of Nhava Sheva and Pipavav.
PE1 offers an extensive coverage across Southeast Asia before calling Colombo and then bound for the U.S. East Coast.
“Sri Lanka sits strategically in the middle of the Indian Ocean and the Maritime Silk Road, making her a critical gateway for an efficient cargo flow within and beyond the Indian Subcontinent,” APL has been quoted as saying.
“Sri Lanka remains an important market for APL’s development in the Indian Subcontinent where APL has also started commercial operations in Maldives in March this year.”
The opening of a new office in Colombo by APL reaffirms Sri Lanka’s prospects of achieving hub status in the Indian Ocean region. The Sri Lankan government’s commitment to develop the infrastructure in the ports and shipping sector in the country as well as the liberalizing of the maritime logistics sector has opened up many investment opportunities for foreign businesses/investors. Given Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean region, the island nation is fast becoming a hub in the region and it would be the best venue to set up business/trade bases in the South Asian region.
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