Sri Lanka discusses shipping sector collaborates with Bangladesh.
The Morning: Foreign Minister Ali Sabry held discussions with Bangladeshi State Minister of Shipping (Cabinet rank) Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury for further collaboration in the shipping sector last month
During the discussion, both ministers emphasised the importance of shipping as one of the key areas selected for collaboration between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Ministers Ali Sabry and Khalid Chowdhury agreed that it is important to hold the second session of the Joint Working Group and Joint Secretary talks early, in order to enhance co-operation in the sector.
Further, both ministers discussed finalising the proposed Agreement on Coastal Shipping between the two countries as well as the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Feeder Service between Colombo and Chattogram. Minister Sabry highlighted that Bangladesh is a very important partner in the shipping sector, as around 40% of Bangladesh’s exports, mainly apparel which are bound to Western Europe and US, are transported from Chattogram using the Port of Colombo, thereby reducing the cost and time for Bangladeshi exports compared to Singapore.
The Bangladeshi Minister mentioned the development of the Matarbari Port in Cox’s Bazar district, which is being developed as a deep sea port with the assistance of Japan and Bangladesh, and aims to keep direct connectivity between Colombo and Chattogram ports through such initiatives. Minister Sabry invited the Bangladesh investors to invest in the terminal development projects in the country’s ports.
Further, the Minister briefed the Bangladesh side, about the opportunities available for foreign investors in the Colombo Port City and invited Bangladesh investors to see the potential available in Sri Lanka.
The Bangladesh side requested the Sri Lanka side to consider offering priority berthing to the Bangladesh vessels, which arrive in Colombo port. Both sides discussed further collaboration as Bangladesh is a country which widely uses the Colombo Port as a transshipment hub. The Ministers agreed that the development of the shipping sector is a positive factor for tourism development of the two countries. The necessity of having strong air connectivity and the entry of private airlines was also discussed.
Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions have helped expand the business/investment opportunities in the country’s maritime industry. There has been a steady growth in the maritime industry, especially in the ports, shipping and logistics sectors. Sri Lanka’s close proximity to the international shipping routes has also resulted in Sri Lanka being prominently positioned in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The expanding maritime industry in Sri Lanka has also opened up a host of new business/investment opportunities in the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities as well as the need to be on par with the evolving global trends in the industry. The businesses recorded by ports around the country are indicative of the growing business potential of the industry. Given the expanding business/investment opportunities in the industry, foreign businesses/investors could explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka’s maritime industry.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/29122022/AT_1|