Polish push for local boat building industry
In keeping with the government’s aim of developing Sri Lanka’s boat building industry as one of the six sectors of the economic drive, stakeholders are looking at a strategic approach to fuel its growth.
“The boat building industry will receive support from Poland to develop the sector which is looking at production locations to set up manufacturing of small boats. Poland is the largest manufacturer of small boats for export and are considering other locations for this purpose. Sri Lanka is one of the potential locations for sub-contracting for small boat manufacture,” Advisor to Sri Lanka Boat Show 2018 Mike Derrett said.
“The boats manufactured by Poland are of 5 to 9 meters in length and production level stands at 22,000 to 25,000 capacity. They are focusing at other facilities to expand production and Sri Lanka has the opportunity to manufacture small boats for Poland,” he said.
The National Export Strategy (NES) of the government considers the boat building industry as one of the key drivers of the economy and plans are underway to develop this sector by providing the necessary support in terms of facilities and infrastructure.
“The NES has three pronged approach to develop the boat building industry such as the regulatory aspect of boating industry, international exposure for industrialists and creating an enabling environment. It also considers providing the necessary infrastructure facilities for the boating industry to promote nautical tourism in the country,” Chairman Advisory Committee, Boat and Ship Building of the Export Development Board, Gamini B. Herath said.
All the six sectors under the NES will be covered under the quality infrastructure and logistics. All these improvements will enable these sectors to become major export segments in the economy. We also encourage the investors, both local and international to be a part of the boat building industry growth story, he said.
The Export Development Board (EDB) supports the boating industry by promoting its abilities and generating more exports. A feasibility study to establish a break-water in Weligama Bay is under way
The EDB engages in a multi approach strategy to encourage exporters of boats which take some time to build. Exporters have the disadvantage of not having a larger market for other types of boats. Due to the leisure boat market in the countries such as India and the Maldives have not been developed, there are limited opportunities for the local exporters.
However, India has embarked on building marinas to attract luxury yachts. Therefore, Sri Lanka too should think about this seriously as the next phase of tourism will be nautical tourism.
“We need marinas to accommodate 100 to 150 boats as a national project. We also need to improve launching facilities for yachts as there is a big demand for this type of boats. Tourism will be concentrated around nautical concept in the future and the country needs to be prepared to cater to this demand,” he said.
“The Galle could be use for a different purpose as a service marina. We need marinas to attract super yachts to the country. We have locations such as Beruwala, Trincomalee, Kalpitiya, Pasikudah, Arugam Bay and Batticaloa for this purpose. It is time that the government builds this facility to enable the tourism industry further its growth,” he said.Source at: Sunday Observer