While Sri Lanka’s footprint in global boats and shipping sector is small, exports in the sector continue to surge in strong numbers, and as a result Sri Lanka is ambitiously targeting US$ 200 million boats and shipping exports by 2022, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen says.
“Global ship and boat building industry has slowed down with less and less demand Due to global economic pressures. Despite this it is interesting to note that Sri Lankan boat builders and exporters have shown resilience and even increased export revenues,” Minister Bathiudeen said addressing the launch of Boat Show Sri Lanka 2018 at Cinnamon Grand Hotel.
The pioneering web portal for Lankan boating industry at www.srilankaboating.com was also jointly unveiled on this occasion by Ministers Malik Samarawickrama, John Amaratunga and Rishad Bathiudeen with Chairperson of Exports Development Board (EDB) Indira Malwatte, and Chairman of Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute Neil Fernando.
“This Show will be the first ever marine festival in Sri Lanka organized to showcase the country’s capabilities in marine tourism recreational boating and yachting boat building and related services for export and local markets,” said Minister Bathiudeen. He added that the event is expected to provide ample opportunities to network, shop, connect and get in to know among the best of the Marine Industry of the region.
The National Export Strategy (NES) of the Export Development Board with technical assistance of the International Trade Center Geneva has included the boat and ship building sector as one of the priority sectors to be actively promoted in the export strategy. As a result the Budget 2018 allocated Rs. 100 million for the initial activities of promoting investment in the infrastructure development required for the boating industry.
“Global ship and boat building industry has slowed down with less and less demand Due to global economic pressures. Despite this it is interesting to note that Sri Lankan boat builders and exporters have shown resilience and even increased export revenues. Therefore I am pleased that this event is announced in a background of new reports we receive about increasing export revenues from our Boats & Ships sector,” the Minister said.
He added that last year Sri Lanka’s Boats & Ship Exports increased by 50% to $97 million in comparison to 2016’s $65 million. Many Lankan companies are involved in making boats and ships while 11 identified companies are in exports.
The Minister thanked all the workers and companies involved in the sector for their commitment to develop Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and exports”.
Chairman of Cey-NOr Foundation B.K. Jagath Perera revealed that the government is aiming $100 million boat and ship exports in 2018. He surprised everyone when he said “The 2017 total exports of $97 million does not include our re-exports of ships and boats, which is $ 157 million by such firms as China Harbour Corp.”
Sri Lanka, under its new National Export Strategy targets $200 million exports in this sector by 2022. Global boats and ship building industry, despite its slowdown, is valued $169-$170 Billion annually.