Enhanced shipping connectivity between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Thursday, 8 May 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A Sri Lankan delegation comprising of Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Ministry of Highways, Ports & Shipping Additional Secretary Anuradha Wijekoon, Sri Lanka Navy Commander/Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd Chairman Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage and other officials visited Bangladesh recently to enhance shipping connectivity between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The delegation met People’s Republic of Bangladesh Minister of Shipping Shajahan Khan, MP and had fruitful discussions with Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Chairman Chittagong Ports Authority, Chairman Mongla Ports Authority and other officials. Discussions were focused to increase connectivity between Bangladesh and Sri Lankan Ports, establishment of coastal shipping, explore investment opportunities and consultancy services in the port sector. This is the first time a high powered Sri Lankan delegation visited Bangladesh to promote shipping connectivity between the two countries and an agreement was signed. A presentation was made by Dr.Wickrama during the seminar organised by the Shipping Ministry of Bangladesh with the participation of government, port, shipping line, feeder operators and representatives from all trade and shipping associations. Bangladesh major exports are destined to USA, Canada, Europe and Australia and are currently moved by feeder vessels via transhipment hubs of Singapore, Colombo, Port Kelang and Tanjung Pelapas. Colombo is ideally suited to route East coast of USA, Canada, Europe, Mediterranean, Gulf and East and West African destination containers. Dr. Wickrama emphasised that Bangladesh exporters could save more than four days time with low freight rates by routing via Colombo for west bound destined cargo. With the new capacity created in the Colombo South Harbour to accommodate mega carriers major shipping lines are increasing Colombo cargo space and are introducing new services to Colombo. Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) is now fully operational with an add annual 2.4 million capacity and the East Container Terminal is under construction for Sri Lanka Ports Authority and will be operational by year end. Number of feeder calls between Bangladesh and Colombo has increased in the recent past and the volumes via Colombo are on the increasing trend. Dr. Wickrama also noted investment opportunities available in the ports of Hambantota and Trincomalee and consultancy services to Bangladesh ports. While assuring world class services, fast connectivity with concessions both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be benefitted.