Nov 04, 2014 (economynext) – Sri Lanka’s transport professionals have called on the head of the island’s defence establishment to champion the development of logistics so that the island can emerge as a hub for supply chains like Singapore and Dubai.
Niral Kadawatharatchie, Chairman of the Sri Lanka branch of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, said logistics is one of the components of the government’s plan to create hubs in key sectors like transport, energy and education.
"The maritime hub is taking place with the development of new ports," he told the CILT International Conference, Tuesday, referring to the new deep-water ports built next to Colombo and on the south coast at Hambantota. "But the logistics hub is running a little slow.
"So we need a project champion like you," Kadawatharatchie said, turning to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, a former army officer who played a key role in winning the war against Tamil Tiger separatists, who was the conference keynote speaker.
"We have two competitors – Singapore and Dubai – who are speedily moving forward," Kadawatharatchie said.
"Sri Lanka is right in the middle having a good geographical location and all facilities but lacking this little bit of punch to move forward in the logistics industry. So we need your attention because it’s only a project champion who can spearhead this."
Kadawatharatchie said that smart, intelligent logistics which wins battles in wars can help companies win commercially in business.
"The industry is comparatively new but spreading locally and globally at a terrific speed. Therefore, there’s great demand for skills."
The CILT, an international organisation that trains logistics and transport professionals, is committed to meeting that demand, Kadawatharatchie said.