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Shipping industry commends Hambantota Port deal


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  • Says development will create many jobs and relieve debt burden 

 

The Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA), Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association and Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Operators (SLAVO) have commended the public-private partnership agreement between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Merchants Ports International Ltd. to operate the Port of Hambantota. 

A meeting was held recently at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping to brief the shipping and logistics fraternity on the successful execution of the agreement to develop the Port of Hambantota. The briefing was held on the initiative of the Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe.  

At the discussions, port users and stakeholders praised the Minister of Ports and Shipping and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) for making the right decision to develop the port sector in a systematic manner. 

“This historic agreement will create many opportunities besides shipping and logistics, in developing the Southern Province, creating employment opportunities for the people of Sri Lanka, amongst many other benefits to the economy,” CASA stated. CASA has also expressed its appreciation of the decision made by Minister Samarasinghe to fast-track the operations of the East Container Terminal of the Port of Colombo. The association assured the Minister of its utmost support in the various activities planned by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to develop the ports and shipping sector in Sri Lanka. 

The Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association commended the successful execution of the agreement to develop the Hambantota Port.

“We are delighted to note that the proceeds of the FDI received will relieve the huge debt burden on the Port of Colombo, the Government and the public at large and will be put to good use to develop the Port of Colombo and other ports of the country. We also wish to applaud the initiatives taken to commence development of the East Container Terminal,” the association said.

The Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Operators (SLAVO) says that it was encouraged to see positive steps taken in the right direction to lease out the Hambantota Port to the China Merchants Group for the benefit of Sri Lanka as a whole.

“The Government’s decision to enter into a billion-dollar partnership with a State-owned listed Chinese company to revive the loss-making Hambantota Port is appreciated,” SLAVO stated. 

SLAVO, which has been in existence since 1995, is a significant stakeholder in the Sri Lankan maritime industry, comprising approximately 80% of the major container shipping lines operating in Colombo.


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