The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has decided to grant a ten percent discount for the shipping companies engaging in transhipment of Myanmar containers through the Colombo Port to attract more business from that region.
Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga granted approval for the new decision at a meeting with SLPA officials yesterday.
During the meeting, Minister Ranatunga said the government was also seeking new investment opportunities in Myanmar due to the emerging peaceful political situation in that country. Last year a feeder service had also been launched between Yangon Port in Myanmar and Colombo Port eyeing growing business opportunities there, the minister said.
The Minister said since 1995 SLPA had granted ten percent discount for the shipping companies centering to transhipment ca
rgo to/from East-India and Bangladesh to attract transhipment container traffic of the two countries to Sri Lanka.
Ranatunga noted that in 2014, the total Myanmar transhipment containers handled by the Colombo Port was 2,108 and in 2015 it had increased to 14,687.
"Therefore, we don’t have any doubt about the market opportunities," Ranatunga said.
According to the Ministry, the transhipment container operations to/from Bangladesh and East India, too, have increased during the last two decades. In 2015, the growth rate of the transhipment container operations was 67.8 percent. However, at present, the bulk of the transhipment operations of that zone is controlled by the Singapore Port.
(The Island - 23022016)