The Sunday Leader

Sri Lanka aims at $200 million boat exports by 2022

(L-R): Industry and Commerce Minister, Rishad Bathiudeen; Minister of International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama; Chairperson of EDB, Ms. Indira Malwatte; Chairman of Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute, Neil Fernando; and Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga at the launch event of Boat Show Sri Lanka 2018 where they unveiled www.srilankaboating.com in Colombo on June 14.

Sri Lanka’s footprint in global boats and shipping sector may be smaller, but Lankan exports will continue to surge in strong numbers. As a result Sri Lanka is ambitiously positioning for $200 million boats and shipping exports by 2022.

“Global ship and boat building industry has slowed down with less and less demand due to global economic pressures.  Despite this, it is interesting to note that Sri Lankan boat builders and exporters have shown resilience and even increased export revenues,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday, June 14.

Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch event of Boat Show Sri Lanka 2018 at Cinnamon Grand Hotel. www.srilankaboating.com the pioneering web portal for Lankan boating industry was also jointly unveiled on this occasion by Ministers Malik Samarawickrama (International Trade), John Amaratunga (Tourism), Rishad Bathiudeen (Industry & Commerce) with Chairperson of EDB Ms. Indira Malwatte, and Chairman of Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute, Neil Fernando.

“This Show will be the first ever marine festival in Sri Lanka organized to showcase the country’s capabilities in marine tourism recreational boating and yachting boat building and related services for export and local markets,” said Minister Bathiudeen.

“The event is expected to provide ample opportunities to network shop connect and get in to know among the best of the Marine Industry of the region. The National Export Strategy (NES) of the Export Development Board with technical assistance of the International Trade Center Geneva has included the boat and ship building sector as one of the priority sectors to be actively promoted in the export strategy. As a result the Budget 2018 allocated Rs. 100 million for the initial activities of promoting investment in the infrastructure development required for the boating industry,” said Minister Bathiudeen.

He also said, “Global ship and boat building industry has slowed down with less and less demand due to global economic pressures. Despite this it is interesting to note that Sri Lankan boat builders and exporters have shown resilience and even increased export revenues. Therefore I am pleased that this event is announced in a background of new reports we receive about increasing export revenues from our Boats & Ships sector. Last year our Boats & Ship Exports increased by 50% to $97 million in comparison to 2016′s $65 million. Many Lankan companies are involved in making boats and ships while 11 identified companies are in exports. I thank all the workers and companies involved in this sector for their commitment to develop our manufacturing and exports”.

Chairman of Cey-NOr Foundation, B. K.Jagath Perera revealed that the government is aiming $100 millon boat and ship exports in 2018. He surprised everyone when he said “The 2017 total exports of $97 million does not include our re-exports of ships and boats, which is $ 157 million by such firms as China Harbour Corp.”

Sri Lanka, under its new National Export Strategy, targets $200 million exports in this sector by 2022.

Global boats and ship building industry, despite its slowdown, is valued $169-$170 Billion annually.

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