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A market opportunity:

Maldives Boat Show 2009

The High Commissioner for the Maldives, Ali Hussain Didi.
Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

The Maldives International Boat Show 2009 will be a market opportunity for local boat manufacturers. It will also be a platform to promote tourism between the Maldives and Sri Lanka, High Commissioner for the Maldives Ali Hussain Didi told the boat show launching ceremony in Colombo.

The show will be held for the third consecutive year from October 12-14 at the Dharubaaruge Exhibition Centre in Male.

"The Maldives has a huge requirement for boats for transport purposes as the country's mode of transportation is boats. Sri Lanka could capture the boat market and be the main supplier. There is an untapped potential and demand", he said.

Trade between the two countries remains the same for over the past decades. Steps need to be taken to increase the trade volumes. Sri Lanka exports groceries to the Maldives and the Maldives exports fish to Sri Lanka. "The two countries could benefit from trade and tourism. The Boat Show will be a facilitater this", he said.

The Boat Show is organized by the Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services in association with the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Liveaboard Association of Maldives.

The event organizers expect over 60 companies to take part in the boat show. There will be nearly 150 trade stalls. South Africa, Sri Lanka, India and Turkey will have country pavilions. This would be one of the largest exhibitions to be held in Maldives.

Colombo Port expansion project a boost to shipping industry - CASA chairman

The Colombo Port expansion project will be a boost to the Sri Lanka's shipping industry and is the most important project to uplift the facilities. It is now under way and making good progress, Chairman Ceylon Association of Ships' Agents (CASA) Nimal Ranchigoda told the 43rd Annual General Meeting of CASA held in Colombo recently.

Under the expansion project the reclaiming of the breakwater and contractor's working area approximately 9.08 million cubic meters have been completed. 660 meters of the construction of the rock core of the breakwater has also been completed. The tender which was closed in mid July attracted only one bidder namely Aitken Spence Plc., and China Merchant Holdings International of Hong Kong, he said.

The technical proposal has been accepted, evaluated and conforms to the cabinet negotiating committee (CNC) for approval. The financial bid was opened in end July, he said.

On behalf of the entire membership of CASA I congratulate President Mahinda Rajapaksa for winning the war against terrorism.

We also congratulate and express our sincere thanks to the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and the 3 Service Commanders and all those who paid the supreme sacrifice for our motherland, he said.

The CASA membership stands at 103 member agencies with a few companies having had to resign due to lack of business resulting from this economic downturn. Today the shipping lines are in dire straits financially and are looking at all the ports worldwide to reduce their costs on a temporary measure to help the shipping lines to reduce their losses, he said. The CASA Executive Committee and a few other senior members of CASA visited the Hambantota Port Development project site accompanied by the Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority last month and we were very impressed with the development of this project since the commencement of phase one on January 8, 2008.

The presentation made by the Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, with Janaka Kurukulasooriya- Chief Engineer Southern Port Development was very informative.

Asian Shippers' Council annual meeting

Chamal Rajapaksa Rohan Masakorala Randolph Perera John Y Lu

The fifth annual meeting of the Asian Shippers' Council will be held today in Colombo. Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapaksa will be the chief guest. This is the first annual meeting of the Asian Shippers' Council to be held in Sri Lanka.

The three-day meeting which concludes on August 15 and this will be a platform to position the country as a maritime hub in the region.


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