COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s maritime industry aims to promote its new ports and position the island as a logistics hub for the rapidly growing Indian subcontinent by holding an international conference later this year. The Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC-2015) will be held during 24-26 September 2015 to coincide with the United Nations International Maritime Organisation International Maritime Day.
“Our aim is to put Sri Lanka back on the world map,” said Rohan Masakorala, chairman of the conference organising committee. “This will be an opportunity to get investors to Sri Lanka.”
The forum will have international speakers from major shipping lines like Maersk and NYK, and the US Federal Maritime Commission and Global Shippers’ Forum, along with speakers from India and regional ports.
Sri Lankan Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga said awareness programs will be held throughout the island along with the forum to highlight the contribution to the economy from ports and shipping. “We need to create more awareness of the importance of the shipping industry among the public. Shipping is still confined to Colombo. This will be an important week for all of us to raise awareness about the industry.”
Ranatunga told a news conference investors were ready to invest in the island’s new ports, including the southern port of Hambantota. Masakorala said post-conflict Sri Lanka provides a great opportunity for global investors to establish themselves in the Indian subcontinent’s shipping and logistics hub.
The island can link regional ports and connect regional trade through the main East-West shipping route to the rest of the world, he said. “Indian-led growth will see many shipping and logistics opportunities in the Indian subcontinent,” said Masakorala.