Sri Lanka to proceed cautiously on shipping liberalisation

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is keen on liberalizing shipping agency businesses and freight forwarding to promote more foreign investment but would proceed cautiously to protect local interests, Minister of Ports and Shipping Sagala Ratnayaka said.

The government definitely wants to bring down barriers to foreign investment, he told the ‘German-Sri Lankan Logistic Conference 2019’ organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka.

But, he said, the government would take decision only when the climate is right on the issue where multinational shipping and freight firms are pushing for the removal of the 40 percent limit on foreign ownership of shipping agencies and freight forwarders. .

“We are working on bringing down barriers,” Ratnayaka said. “We want to make the right decisions when the climate is right.”

“We will take a step-by-step approach in this. We have to consider investment and generation of employment in the country when we move forward.

“We have to safeguard people and businesses of both countries while we want to move forward on liberalization for Sri Lanka to be that logistics hub that we can be.”
(COLOMBO, 29 August 2019)