On the initiative taken by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Egypt Damayanthie Rajapakse, First Secretary (Commercial) Shiwanthi Abeyrathne and Trade Assistant of the Embassy Ahmed Selim visited Suez Canal Authority in Ismailia, Egypt on 23 September, to discuss Sri Lanka’s technological capacity in boat and ship building and dry-dock services, its potential for nautical tourism and to explore avenues to market these products to the Suez Canal Authority in Egypt.
The Embassy officials met with the team of Suez Canal Authority headed by Director of Procurement Department Salah Eldin Gouda Abomosallam.
During the discussions, Shiwanthi Abeyrathne highlighted the fast expanding technological advancements made by Sri Lanka in this sector and that its strategic location, highly trainable workforce, low labour cost, and the availability of one of the best natural harbours in the Asian region had paved way for the success that Sri Lanka has achieved in the boat and ship building industry. In a presentation made by the First Secretary (Commercial), it was explained that Sri Lanka’s major ship building products include, multipurpose platform supply vessels, anchor handling and supply vessels, crew boats, passenger vessels, harbour berthing/ towing tugs, naval/coast guard vessels, landing crafts, fire fighting vessels and fishing vessels to name a few.
Special emphasis was made on the KDDI Cable Laying Vessel built by Colombo Dockyard PLC, to showcase shipbuilding excellence achieved by Sri Lanka.
Following the presentation made by the officials of the Mission, the team of the Suez Canal Authority expressed their keen interest in purchasing tug boats, pilot boats and dredgers from Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the officials of the Mission agreed to pursue the matter with the stakeholders in Sri Lanka exploring all avenues to establish links between the Suez Canal Authority and the Sri Lankan counterparts on supplying the required vessels manufactured in Sri Lanka.
During the deliberations the historical background of Sri Lanka supporting Egypt, on Suez crisis in 1956 at the UN General Assembly, and subsequently Sri Lanka being appointed as a member of the Suez Advisory Board was touched upon, bringing to light the significant landmarks in the history, that has strengthened diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Egypt.