Ships or no ships, the Hambantota port has been commissioned, what can we do about it? The Shippers’ Academy Colombo has organised an industry forum on March 17, 2017, at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce auditorium, from 3:30 p.m. onwards.
The forum will discuss the current situation with regard to the ports and shipping industry and is expected to brainstorm various industry view points on Hambantota as well as the current shipping industry issues pertaining to Sri Lanka.
As the government and Ports and Shipping Ministry are now in dialog with China on a long lease and an industrial zone in Hambantota, there are different opinions in the industry on the viability of the port, model of development and government solution.
On the one hand, it is said that the government is facing serious debt issues as the current business generated out of Hambantota is extremely low and thus the Sri Lanka Ports Authority is stretched for its resources to both service loans and administrative costs in Colombo and other ports. On the other hand, its revenue has to be utilized to pay the Hambantota debt from this year onwards as per the government information.
Given the current business model and inability of the government to pump in more resources, it has turned to the builder and funder of the Hambantota port, China, to work towards a long-
term lease, etc.
The forum will also discuss a much talked about canal project in Thailand known as the Kra Canal. Although it has been a long-standing project that was discussed for more than two centuries due to geopolitical reasons, it seemed the realization of the project is a long way away. However, with the recent global developments, including the South China Sea security issues and more regional trade developing in Asia, new shipping and logistics routes are also planned for supply chain security and to develop diverse trade routes.
The forum will discuss both the Hambantota and Kra Canal issues, how it will affect Sri Lanka as a maritime nation.
Former CILT Chairman Rohaan Abeywickrama, Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) Chairman Capt. Ajith Peiris, Shippers’ Academy Colombo CEO Rohan Masakorala and other industry personnel will join with presentation and discussion and to focus on the merits and demerits of the said projects.
The Thought Leadership Forum Founder Ranel T. Wijesinha will moderate the forum.
Interested parties may contact the Shippers’ Academy Colombo: Tel: 077-3820703/0113560844; Fax: 0112874065; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.