Maersk Line, the largest global container shipping line and a market leader in Sri Lanka, said yesterday it fully supported the 2018 Budget proposals made by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to open up the shipping and logistics sector to foreign investments and introduce an independent port regulator.
Maersk Line Managing Director India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Steve Felder, in a statement said: “Maersk Line supports any efforts that governments make to liberalise and improve the business environment for the maritime industry, and for our customers.
“In this spirit, we commend the proposals tabled in the Sri Lankan Parliament last week, which included removing the restriction on foreign ownership of shipping agencies and the amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act, which are intended to further support the development of Colombo as a key maritime hub.”
The liberalisation of shipping agencies is expected to reduce transaction costs for carriers using Colombo as a transhipment hub, thereby making it attractive for shipping lines like Maersk to further increase volumes, especially given the growth of new transhipment hubs in this region.
Felder added that if the proposals tabled in the Parliament last Thursday, which included removing the restriction on foreign ownership of shipping agencies and the amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act, were approved, the company would engage closely with its valued partners in Sri Lanka and together evaluate options on increasing its footprint in the country.
Maersk Line, the global containerised division of the Maersk Group, has employees in 325 offices across 125 countries and a fleet of more than 500 vessels along with 1.9 million containers with the global reach and resources to accommodate customers broad transportation needs.
As a worldwide conglomerate, Maersk Group operates in over 140 countries and has a workforce of over 108,000 employees. In addition to owning one of the world’s largest shipping companies, it is involved in a wide range of activities in the transport, energy, logistics, retail and manufacturing industries.