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Sri Lanka to call expressions of interest for Galle Harbour development

Sri Lanka to call expressions of interest for Galle Harbour development

The Morning: Sri Lanka anticipates investing approximately $ 150 million for Galle harbour development for commercial and recreational activities in making Galle harbour a tourist attraction port, The Daily Morning Business learnt.
Speaking to The Daily Morning Business, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping K. D. S. Ruwanchandra said: “Primarily, we want to develop it for tourism with yachts and there will be a marina in Galle harbour. Further, we expect to develop some hotels as well. Therefore, there will be reclaimed land which will be coming to Galle harbour with the pitching of the port.”
He pointed out that they will basically seek foreign investors for both commercial and recreational activities such as hotels and yachting. Moreover, they will begin to call for Expression of Interest (EOI) within these few weeks.
In addition, the timeline for the development of infrastructure facilities and recreation activities at the Galle harbour will take at least 2-3 years. First, they need to construct the breakwater and the bridging.
Speaking to The Daily Morning Business, Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Ministry Media Secretary Wiraj Abeysinghe said: “Due to a large boulder obstructing the process, the port is unable to receive ships with a draft deeper than 10 metres. Additionally, mini cruises with a draft of 5 to 6 metres are welcome in Galle harbour.”
Furthermore, at the Galle harbour, an oil bunkering service is provided. They also plan to provide ships with a supply chain that handles tasks like topping up water and oil tanks.
According to Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the marine tourism master plan will be out welcoming both international and national stakeholders. Currently, all stakeholders have been involved with them because they were instrumental together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in developing the marine tourism master plan which has been finalised now.
Sri Lanka’s territorial waters cover 21,500 square kilometres and its exclusive economic zone, 517,000 square kilometres, almost eight times the country’s land area. Coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove forests, lagoons, beaches, salt marshes and estuaries are mere a few examples of the natural resources and ecosystems that are found in the coastal and marine environment.
According to the Sri Lanka Port Authority, Galle harbour is a natural harbour in the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Currently Galle port serves as one of the active regional ports in the country and it is also the only Sri Lankan port that provides facilities for pleasure yachts. International yacht societies have recognised Galle harbour as one of the world’s best attractions for yachting.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka’s expanding economic activities and the path to reaching hub status in the region have resulted in development programmes covering all key economic sectors. The development of the ports and shipping sectors takes center stage in the development programme given the growth in Sri Lanka’s trade as well as the need to further develop connectivity as part of the country’s target of becoming a regional business/trade hub. It is in such s backdrop that the Sri Lankan government is looking at calling for Expressions of Interest to develop the Galle harbour. Sri Lanka is already looking at developing the Kankesanthurai port in the North as well as set up an investment zone surrounding the Trincomalee Port. All these are indicative of the overall expansion in Sri Lanka’s maritime industry, especially in the ports and shipping sectors. With Sri Lanka also recording an increase in the arrival cruise ships carrying foreign tourists to the country, the development in the ports sector could further boost tourist arrivals to the country as well. Given the growth and business potential in Sri Lanka, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the many expanding opportunities in the country’s maritime industry, especially in the development of the ports and shipping sectors.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240326/Z_2

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