Date
25 September 2017
A Ro-Ro vessel unloads vehicles at a port in Hambantota on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Photo: HKTDC
A Ro-Ro vessel unloads vehicles at a port in Hambantota on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Photo: HKTDC

Sri Lanka offers huge opportunities for HK logistics players

Sri Lanka may be a small economy, but situated along the key Eurasian shipping route, the island country in the Indian Ocean has served as an important transshipment hub.

It is also seen as a vital node of the maritime Silk Road under China’s “One Belt, One Road” development strategy.

In fact, Sri Lanka and Guangdong province plan to jointly build a sea-rail multi-nodal transport corridor in the area as part of the country’s participation in the One Belt, One Road initiative.

To expand its logistics sector amid growing demand, Sri Lanka is developing a new port and economic zone in Hambantota, a southern coastal district, according to a Hong Kong Trade Development Council report.

The country has also launched the Colombo Port Expansion Project to increase the number of terminals in the capital city from three to six.

Sri Lanka is boosting its logistics infrastructure. But hardware alone won’t be enough; it needs lots of talent, too, to run the system.

Last year, the country ranked 89th out of 160 countries measured by the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Indicator.

HKTDC notes that an increasing number of transport firms are already moving to the country to fill the void and take advantage of growing business opportunities.

Hong Kong operators are therefore urged to talk to Sri Lankan counterparts to tap the market.

At the moment, foreigners can own up to 40 percent of a shipping agency in the country. Request for a bigger share has to be approved by the Board of Investment on a case by case basis.

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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