BOI ESTABLISHES ONE STOP SERVICE CENTRE AT HAMBANTOTA INTERNATIONAL PORT
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has established a one stop service centre at the Hambantota International Port (HIP), to provide investors in the port and related services, with easy access to avail themselves of concessions open to them.
A ceremony was held recently at the Business Centre of the Hambantota International Port to launch this service with the attendance of Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan, Mrs. Champika Malalgoda, Director General for the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Ray Ren, CEO of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), Tissa Wickremasinghe, COO of HIPG and Captain Ravi Jayawickrama, CEO, Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS).
This is a new joint initiative of the BOI with HIP. The BOI would play the role of a facilitator with the long term goal of improving Sri Lanka’s ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. HIPG whose principal shareholder is CMPort, one of the world’s leading port operators is targeting port related activities within the 3.5 square kilometer area allotted for the port’s development. Together with their local partner SLPA, HIPG is working towards making this initiative a reality.
“This is an entirely new concept in Sri Lanka and HIPG is very excited about promoting this locally and internationally, to attract port related industries to Sri Lanka. The Hambantota Port is a uniquely placed not just in Sri Lanka but on the global maritime map, the main reason being it’s positioning in close proximity to the sea lane connecting east and west. The fact that it is not located in a congested city, but has enough land space to expand, will also provide great opportunities for investors” says Tissa Wickremasinghe, COO of HIPG.
It would also be a boon from the point of view of both local and international export related businesses, as they would have easy access to information on incentives and facilities the BOI could offer them. The One Stop Service Center would be a launch pad for the next stage in port development, where Sri Lanka would join international trade and commerce, from the southern part of Sri Lanka.
The vision of Hambantota International port is to create the right mix to take port development from merely a destination for sea going vessels, towards commercial, marine services and lifestyle concepts — more so when one considers how airports have developed in recent years. HIP operates across five platforms, providing RO-RO, conventional cargo, oil & gas, container, bunkering and cruise services along witha wide range of client and industry-specific services to ensure that fleets remain in operative condition. The services include bunkering, ship repairs, ship chandlers, sea marshals, underwater services, surveys and crew changes. The Hambantota International Port is positioned to be the one-stop logistics platform that caters to all, offering an integrated package that could be tailor made to their customers’ needs. Reinforced by Hambantota’s geographic location, the port offers an unparalleled experience of air and sea connectivity.HIP is also looking at the wider arena of yacht and leisure travel, and working towards facilitating cruise travelers who use the port as a calling destination. In order to achieve these goals, HIP has taken into consideration, their close proximity of the Mattala airport and built processes for air-sea cargo movement.
The one stop service centre will be an added advantage to the array of services and incentives, investors could choose from. Ray Ren, CEO of HIPG says, “while we are looking at developing the various silos of the port such as leisure, commercial, bunkering, transshipment, Ro Ro operations, we also see this as a great opportunity to move the Sri Lankan economy into a super charged position to attract investors. After setting up of the one stop service center we are awaiting a national free port policy for the Hambantota Port to encourage investors.”
The Hambantota Port is in line with the national vision for port development in Sri Lanka and responds to the SLPA’s future growth plans for a modern port, free of urban restrictions, assuring long-term expansion capacity and a world standard industrial and logistics zone. A platform that can receive main players of port, maritime, industrial and logistics sectors, that adhere to the highest standards of integrity.
HIP will provide a variety of services from container handling, general cargo, RORO, passenger, bunkering, bulk terminal, gas to project cargo. It is well on it’s way to becoming one of a kind, as the only port in the country, designed to handle the full gamut of services in the maritime and logistics area. HIP plans to present economically efficient and environmentally sound intensive benefits and port services to all port users and stakeholders.
China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CM Port), is the principal partner of HIPG, has been named the largest globally competitive public port developer, investor and operator in China, with investments in Mainland China, Hong Kong and overseas. CMPort operates in 5 continents, 18 countries and 34 ports.
In line with their vision to make HIP a world class sea port, the Hambantota International Port Group is focused on continuing to exceed stakeholder expectations, significantly increasing their performance in 2018. Over 300 vessels with different service requirements called at HIP and the port doubled its Ro Ro throughput volumes reaching 235,000 units. Break-bulk throughput in 2018 was 170,000 tons and the port widened the scope of its services from Ro Ro operations to bulk, break-bulk, project cargo, cruise and are currently working on extending to ship supply services, repairs and layups, bonded warehousing, etc. Another achievement by HIPG is their partnership with a global player for bunkering expected to begin in the final quarter of 2019. HIP also works closely with Litro and Laugfs for LPG, bringing them a step closer to their goal of becoming an energy hub.
The port is currently involved in developing port related industry and are looking at setting up a number of industries including construction, food and energy. As a part of giving back to the community, HIP has created approximately 700 jobs directly with another 2000 job opportunities indirectly for the locale. They have undertaken a number of projects to uplift adjacent communities, recently pledging a sum of Rs. 30 million to completely revamp a school in the Hambantota Tissapura area.