Sri Lanka: CASA Discusses Infrastructure Development in Port Sector
The 46th Annual General meeting of the Ceylon Association of Ships’ Agents was held at the Hilton Colombo recently, followed by a Banquet at the Grand Ballroom.
The Chief Guest at this event was Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Minister of Environment and the Guest of Honour was, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways.
Chairman elect Ralph Anandappa in his address referred to the history of CASA to 1944, when it was first established as the Ceylon Shipping Committee, before evolving to be known as CASA from 1966. Over the years CASA has provided invaluable assistance to its membership and earned for itself the accolade “the leading voice of the Shipping Industry”. CASA works through a process of interchange of ideas, information and business methods as a means of increasing the efficiency and usefulness of members.
Ships’ agents over the years have contributed immensely in re-investing their earnings in related and unrelated diversification making a positive impact on the economy and importantly generating employment both in a sustainable manner.
The international scenario now unfolding is also challenging. Rating agencies and investors services are ‘downbeat’ on the outlook for the global shipping industry. Sustained oversupply of vessels and high bunker costs will pressure margins in most shipping segments in 2012.
The outlook for the next 12 to 18 months is negative. Some of the agencies expect the aggregate earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of the global shipping industry to decline by 5-10% in 2012. There are reports that economic growth in US, Europe & China is flagging.
Infrastructure development in the port sector is of particular significance and importance to CASA. The SLPA under the leadership of its young and energetic Chairman, Dr. Wickrema and his team has demonstrated tremendous commitment and drive in strengthening this sector. Apart from adding capacity with the construction of new ports and terminals the SLPA has also taken very progressive steps in refleeting and renewing terminal equipment, improving infrastructure, and introducing IT enabled solutions – in general upgrading and enhancing the capabilities of existing facilities for the benefit of shipping lines and our customers. SAGT has also taken positive measures for the benefit of lines and the trade. CICT will further strengthen the sector.
CASA will continue to engage the authorities with a view to address matters concerning its membership in order to enhance service delivery to principals and customers.
Source: slpa, August 20, 2012