Lanka’s Hambantota Port offers better facilities to B’desh

Sri Lanka offers special concessions and incentives to Bangladeshi traders interested in availing themselves of the facilities at the newly-built Hambantota Deep Seaport along the southern harbour of the Island country.

Visiting Sri Lankan Deputy Minister for External Affairs GJL Neomal Perera on Wednesday said this while addressing a meeting on ‘Bilateral Trade, Investment, Shipping and Tourism’, organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at its office.

Perera said Bangladeshi businessmen should come forward to use the Chittagong-Hambantota route as an alternative to the export transshipment route through Singapore Port.

According to Perera, transshipment of cargos from Chittagong to Hambantota requires almost half the time required for the transshipment from Chittagong to Singapore.

“It’ll reduce the transshipment time to 3-4 days, while the transshipment through Singapore takes at least 7 days,” he said.

The Sri Lankan Deputy Minister also pointed out that his government will welcome Bangladeshi businessmen interested to invest in shipbuilding and tourism sectors of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, DCCI president Sabur Khan said Bangladeshi businessmen are also considering the merits of direct marine connectivity with Colombo and Trincomalee ports in Sri Lanka.

“The distance between Trincomalee and Mongla may be 25-30 percent less than that of Chittagong-Colombo. This may be used as a point of entry for exports to Sri Lanka alongside the Colombo Port,” he said.

He also recommended Sri Lanka allow duty-free market access to Bangladeshi export items, including pharmaceuticals, vegetables, agro-products, jute, jute goods, ceramics, plastic ware, toiletries and house-building materials that are in high demand in the Sri Lankan market.

The meeting was also addressed by Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Bangladesh WA Sarath K Weragoda and DCCI former president Asif Ibrahim. UNB

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