Maritime being an industry that has not been reached out properly and looked after in the past, the ministry of Ports and Shipping have decided to educate the younger generation in the country in taking the industry forward. There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the past, said Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Ports and Shipping.
Mr. Ranatunga made this statement at a media briefing held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo last week to launch the first ever Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC) to be held from 24th to 26th of September this year.
He said the government has to try and develop the Hambantota port. Unfortunately the money that is earned from the Colombo port has to be invested in the Hambantota port. But there are many investors willing to invest in the Hambantota port. Investment in the Hambantota port has happened in the past “but with bad hands on it”. The conference will be an eye opener for investors from other countries to learn about the maritime industry of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Ranatunga also noted that the country’s maritime industry needs to be moved to another level from where it is now. There is no policy as such implemented in this industry because the people involved in maritime do not have any field experience. “We need to implement it soon,” he mentioned.
Also at the briefing it was stated that 90 per cent of the world’s trade is moved through shipping and is considered as the wheels of global trade. It helps global economies propel and develop new markets to create wealth among nations. In this context, Sri Lanka known to be a historical maritime nation is poised to play a major role in the coming decades to service the Indian subcontinent and Asia as a mega transshipment hub.
CIMC 2015 is the first effort to position the country’s shipping, logistics and maritime sector. The conference is supported by the government of Sri Lanka, private and public sector institutions and associations along with international and local chambers and many international organisations and institutions related to the industry.