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All efforts to develop country as naval hub

"The government is making all efforts to develop the country as a naval hub and all ports are developed while all shipping related businesses are facilitated and assisted, said Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Rohitha Abegunawardena.

He was speaking at a ceremony to sign an agreement between MARG Group of India and Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd (CSCL) yesterday.

The agreement was signed by MARG CEO Captain K M Romesh and CSCL and Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board (Laksala) Chairman Prasad Galhena.

In line with strengthening state owned commercial enterprises, the Ports and Highways Ministry is making efforts to strengthen CSCL as the national carrier to serve country's export and import trade and to go in to profitable new business ventures, the Deputy Minister said.

"Signing of this agreement for joint business cooperation with MARG group is one step that has been taken to strengthen CSCL by commencing shipping services connecting Sri Lankan ports mainly with India and other countries in the Indian subcontinent," he said.

The first shipping service under this joint agreement is scheduled to commence next month connecting Colombo port with Karaikal and Chittagon using one container vessel of around 800 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) capacity in a weekly frequency. Hambantota port will serve as a port of call.

Captain Romesh said that it is expected that this joint cooperation will be developed into a greater success by capitalizing in various opportunities available in the shipping sector in Sri Lanka as well as in other countries in the Indian subcontinent.

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