The second Colombo International Maritime conference will commence on 22 September and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Over 400 participants along with 60 international speakers will be in attendance.

The objective is to develop the Sri Lankan shipping industry to go beyond the transshipment hub of South Asia to attract more maritime industries to invest in all ports around the island to make use of its geographic location and the catchment area where a large consumer market of the Indian subcontinent is growing. The industry statistics indicate the current contribution from the maritime economy to the country is less than 2.5%.

If Sri Lanka can attract global investments in the shipping and logistics industry, country can create many new jobs and the multiplier effect to the economy will be significant. The Chairman of the Organising Committee Rohan Masakorala emphasised that if the right policies and signals are given to the investors, the development of the maritime industry can be fast-tracked. “We expect to take it 6% of GDP by 2030. The overall objective of the CIMC is to promote Sri Lanka as an emerging destination and make awareness of the country. It is up to the policymakers to steer the country to a more business friendly and liberal economy and get the doing business index more favorable. We are confident that South Asia is the next growth center for shipping and logistics and the opportunities for Sri Lanka is huge,” he asserted.