The Sunday Leader

Lankan shipping liberalization very constructive

“The Budget 2018’s proposals on Lankan shipping liberalization are very constructive”, said Julian Michael Bevis, AP MOLLER-MAERSK’s Senior Director South Asia in Colombo. He was responding to Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen when he met the Minister in Colombo recently with Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Denmark’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka.

“AP MOLLER-MAERSK’s transport & logistics consists of Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Damco, Svitzer and Maersk Container Industry. The mission is to enable and facilitate global supply chains and provide opportunities for our customers to trade globally. This is a worldwide conglomerate is operating in over 130 countries with 88,000 employees. In addition to owning one of the world’s largest shipping companies, the group is involved in a wide range of activities in transport, energy, logistics, retail and manufacturing sectors. The Budget 2018’s proposals on Lankan shipping liberalization are very constructive-now is the time for Sri Lanka,” said the MAERSK Senior Director, Bevis.

He also said, “We fully understand Sri Lanka’s need for such measures. In the long run, such a change is very much of a necessity. This liberalization puts Sri Lanka in par with its (shipping) competitors. MAERSK is also keenly looking forward to partner in planned Colombo harbour expansion so that we become an even larger stakeholder in the development of Lankan shipping industry.”

The Budget 2018 presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to make Sri Lanka a shipping hub, proposed to open up the shipping and logistics sectors by removing foreign ownership restrictions in ship agency and freight forwarding firms. These proposals have become the most wide-ranging reforms faced by Sri Lanka’s shipping sector in recent times.

Minister Bathiudeen stressed that the latest Budget proposals are a clear indication of Unity Government’s economic liberalization and reform plans. “Sri Lanka’s strategic location gives it an advantage in shipping and logistics. Our Unity government’s aim in shipping reform is to expand it greatly and not to harm any operators active in it,” said the Minister.

Minister Bathiudeen, Ambassador Taksoe-Jensen and MAERSK Senior Director Bevis also discussed other forms of bilateral cooperation during their meeting held in Colombo on December 4.

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