The 19th symposium on International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) under the theme, ‘Maritime Co-operation and Economic Prosperity through INAP’ was successfully completed at the Kingsbury Hotel Colombo.
The two day international maritime symposium of regional importance that was held with the participation of eight countries including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines South Africa, South Korea and Sri Lanka was hosted by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The INAP Symposium 2017 was held with the fullest patronage and initiative of Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Ports and Shipping Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama attended as the Guest of Honour.
Speaking at the inauguration, Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka was totally committed to the organization of International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) that had resulted in further closeness between the member nations that represented the organization. “The implementations through the INAP would not only improve bilateral relations between the nations but would also result in benefiting the peoples of our nations,” he said. “We are confident that we can raise the position of the Port of Colombo to a higher position in the global maritime rankings of container ports.”
Samarasinghe also stated that the accelerated development process launched in the late 70s to build up the infrastructure of the Port of Colombo reasoned towards its continues growth and to become the 23rd port in the world in container business at present. “During my period in office, I am confident that we can elevate this position of the Port of Colombo to a higher position in the global ranking of container ports,” Samarasinghe said.
The 19th conference of the INAP this year was the fourth successful opportunity Sri Lanka Ports Authority received to hold the INAP symposium. Previously, the 13th INAP conference hosted by SLPA was held in the year 2011 in Colombo.
SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake received the Chairmanship of INAP 2017 at the General Assembly of the INAP members, Sri Lanka being the host country of this year’s INAP conference. The General Assembly of the INAP 2017 was held prior to its 19th symposium at the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo.
Expressing views at the inauguration of the INAP 2017, Dr. Dissanayake stated that the symposium was being held amidst a challenging environment for the ports and the maritime industry in the region. Further speaking, Dr. Dissanayake urged that by forming into larger alliances by co-operating with each other INAP has a collaborative responsibility and role to play to sustain the industry in the region. He stated that during his tenure also as the Chairman of INAP 2017, the organization would extend its fullest efforts to fruitfully attract more ports in the region to the network, making to the fact that challenge is always an opportunity.
Top ranking officials of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and SLPA, a large gathering of foreign delegates and invitees from the Sri Lankan maritime fraternity also attended the inauguration of the 19th symposium of the International Network of Affiliated Ports (INAP) 2017.