Sri Lanka offers special port facilities to Bangladeshi vessels

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Dhaka, June 4 (The Daily Star): The Sri Lankan state-owned Jaya Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo has offered priority berthing facilities for Bangladeshi supply vessels.

The chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Prasantha Jayamanna, recently announced this during a discussion in Colombo on Friday (01).

He briefed Bangladesh on the current facilities as well as the ongoing and future expansion plan of Colombo Port which would increase its container handling capacity to 15 million TEUs when completed in 2025-26.

The Bangladesh High Commission has been pursuing this priority issue of berthing with the SLPA for a long time, the mission message reads.

The Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka recently held a stakeholder consultation forum in Colombo on improving maritime connectivity between Chattogram and Colombo Port in line with the celebration of the first Economic Diplomacy Week.

The objective was to facilitate a better understanding of the operational issues between Chattogram and the Port of Colombo and to ensure greater connectivity and supply chain security and a stronger partnership between the two ports.

Representatives from the port authorities of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, terminal operators, main line operators, feeder operators, freight forwarders as well as users from both ports presented their respective views.

The High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, Tareq Md Ariful Islam, shared Bangladesh’s economic development potential for Colombo Port.

He also mentioned the changes in global logistics operations due to the pandemic and now war, the resulting trends in maritime transport and the need to offer possible incentives from the port of Colombo.

The chairman of the SLPA, private terminal operators and the Sri Lankan maritime community have assured that they will give priority to users from Bangladesh, according to the Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo.

Referring to recent negative media reports on Colombo Port, they clarified that their port operations are not affected by the crisis situation in the country.

A representative of Chattogram Port Authority said container traffic from Bangladesh through Colombo Port has increased significantly in the past year.

Stakeholder representatives from Bangladesh shared user perspective on Colombo Port, emerging trends and challenges in transport operations.

During the ensuing interactive session, panelists from both sides answered questions from attendees, which resolved many issues related to Chattogram-Colombo connectivity.

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