Logistics hub on show to the world in March

- www.ft.lk

By Cheranka Mendis
Sri Lanka, which has been acting as a transhipment hub for long years, should now start showcasing its abilities, potentials and possibilities in the logistics market to the world.

With only two weeks to go for Sri Lanka’s first-ever international logistics exhibition ‘Sri Lanka International Air Freight, Shipping and Logistics Expo 2012’ and 12th International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) Asia/Oceania Regional Meeting and Port Forum, industry stakeholders yesterday voiced that it is now time to market the country’s logistical possibilities to the world.
With the future of the industry looking promising given the new ports and airports coming up and booming industrialisation and expansion which would amount to millions of dollars in the coming years, the country should now be prepared to showcase the potential it holds in the sector.
Strategic Enterprise Management Agency’s Senior Consultant on Ports and Airports Rohan Masakorala stated that while five years ago the complaint was that there was no proper infrastructure and today the country has enough to be marked as a leader in the world. “Now we need marketing to place ourselves on the global map.”
Commenting that the two events would be the starting point for the industry, Masakorala noted that the country has the potential to become a leader. “We are friendly, fast and efficient and we need to market this well so that internationally we are known for just that.”
Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association Chairman Mohan Mohanadas said: “We note this as an exciting opportunity to showcase logistical possibilities. We are well set to become a hub and the events will be the perfect opportunity to present this.”
Joining him, DHL Country Manager Manish Patel stated that for the country to grow in the post war era, it needs to market itself as well as the potential it holds. “Logistics makes things move and using that the country can now move into further development.”
The expo, endorsed by Strategic Enterprise Management Agency, Airport and Aviation Services Limited, Sri Lanka Railways, Ceylon Association of Ships’ Agents and Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association will be an ideal platform for creating new logistic networks, business connections and expand trade cooperation.
Sri Lanka with its excellent geographical proximity and new world class ports and airports coming up is set to be one of the key destinations for the world logistics industry. If promoted right, Sri Lanka could become a logistics hub for South Asia.
With over 450 members registering for the Regional Meeting which will be held alongside the expo at the BMICH premises, the benefits will be immense, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said.
The meeting themed ‘Global challenges – Impact on Asia Oceania’ will feature three sessions which would cover many topics such as economic crisis and global trends, maritime safety and security, sustainability, etc.
“Many pressing concerns will be discussed at the event. In tandem with that, the exhibition will be most important for the local fraternity as it would give them a chance to not only present their business but also to forge important contracts.”Sri Lanka Ports Authority Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola added that eminent speakers from Europe, South East Asia and Australia would deliver speeches at the event. The expo will cover shipping and freight forwarding companies, shipping liners, warehouses, bonded depot and cold storages, containers, tank and bulk international trade ports, wharfs, cargo terminals, trucking, railway transport, airlines, cross border transportation and many other areas. “The two events will take Sri Lanka into a new dimension; a new world of logistics. It is the first time the two events are happening concurrently and will bring in many benefits to the industry as well as the country,” CEMS Global Group Director S. Sarwar said.

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