SL to host first ever int'l Logistics Conference

The first-ever Colombo International Logistics Conference is scheduled to be held on 1 and 2 August 2019 at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo and will feature 20 international speakers to discuss modern logistics trends, South Asia’s logistics market and the emerging role of Sri Lanka as a global logistics centre, said the main organiser of the event, Shippers' Academy Colombo CEO and Export Development Board (EDB) Logistics Advisory Committee Chairman, Rohan Masakorala, said yesterday.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo, he said that over 250 foreign delegates would attend this event.

“Delegates attending this conference will get a first-hand idea of the ports of Sri Lanka and the new Port City that is being built with up to US$ 18 billion investment.

The conference will give an opportunity for networking and develop new businesses for companies involved in logistics, as well as investors,” he said.


The event will mark the 40th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), who will join as a business partner along with its terminal operators, while the Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders’ Association will join as the ‘strategic partner’, with the organiser, CIMC-Events.

Speaking at the press conference, SLPA Chairman, Kavan Ratnayaka said that the vision of the SLPA was to support value-added services to make Sri Lanka a true logistic hub.

“Therefore, this conference is timely to get message out to the international business community that Sri Lanka provides an unmatchable location with low-cost, high-speed solutions to connect global trade and markets,” he said.

The Government has fully supported the event and the National Export Strategy’s key driver, the EDB, has taken the initiative to promote logistics and support this event. Speaker of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya is the patron of the conference.

The logistics industry is reshaping and evolving its role to facilitate a new order of global trade, e-commerce and to reach out to the 21st century consumer with flexibility and speed, modernising the global supply chains. For this reason, strategic distribution hubs connected by air and sea, and proximity to markets and transportation hubs, makes a location suitable for international logistics to provide services at minimal costs.

In the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has this unmatchable geographic advantage, which is its top unique selling point. Twenty-two miles north of it is the Indian sub-continent, home to over 2 billion people and the fastest-growing economic region in the world, with a vast expanding middle-class consumer market and a regional manufacturing base.

Through emerging international trade corridors, be it the Africa-Asia growth corridor or the Belt and Road initiative of China, Sri Lanka offers to be the best maritime and logistics centre in South Asia to connect continents of Africa, Europe and Asia via ocean and air routes. Developing rapidly with world-class infrastructure next to the world’s busiest shipping lane, with three major deep-draught ports, as well as strongly-networked regional air connectivity, the island nation sits between the two hubs of Singapore and Dubai with equal time for ocean and air travel. At the same time, as a location it sits in an advantageous global time zone, where business can operate to facilitate clients in both the West and the East around the clock.

An eight-hour flying time radius connects the island to more than 50 per cent of the world’s population. Known as a major tourist hotspot in the world, Sri Lanka is an ideal location for expats to have operational headquarters, as there are very special laws and tax concessions for such investments.

Combined with skilled and talented human resources, together with the most liberal, open market in South Asia, it is ideally located to have storage and distribution centres where almost all major global shipping lines use Colombo as the main port for transshipment and Hambantota the biggest ro-ro facility in South Asia and a developing bulk port.