Sri Lanka is making a renewed attempt to leverage its geographic advantage in the East-West shipping route, this time as a boat builder and marine tourism destination under the National Export Strategy. The five-year plan formally launched in July 2018 identifies boat building and its related services as one of five key industries to expand Sri Lanka's export basket and increase export earnings to US$ 28 Billion by 2022.
Sri Lanka possesses the capabilities required to build quality boats that are on par with those made by the world leaders in boat building. Since France, Italy, Belgium, Scandinavia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the UK are competing boat building nations, Sri Lanka needs to aggressively market and canvass for opportunities to grow its position in the world market. Mr Gamini Herath, Managing Director of Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute (BTI) believes the industry shows great promise.
Organized by Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute (BTI) and Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), in association with Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Ministry of Ports and Shipping, South Asia’s most focused and largest international Boat Show and Boating Festival Sri Lanka 2018 will be held from 26th to 28th October 2018.
Sri Lanka, the picturesque island in the heart of the Indian Ocean, boasts a long and proud history of boat building. It’s well-poised to become the hub for boat manufacturing in the Asian region over its strategic location, highly trainable workforce and labour cost advantage. On top of that, Sri Lanka has one of the best natural harbours in the region and its commercial port in Colombo is rated among the most economical and efficient providing a complete service to the shippers.
While Sri Lanka is surrounded by the Indian Oceans abundant with scenic views, a high biodiversity of ocean mammals, sailing for pleasure was never a pastime of the Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka was never considered a worthy stop for yachts due to lack of a fully-fledged marine in the country.
Sri Lankan boat manufacturers are seeing an increase in demand for pleasure, commercial and fishing boats following the International Boat and Fisheries Exhibition 2016 that was held at Dickowita Fishery Harbor in October last year.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, the country is tipped to receive an income of Rs. 20 billion by exporting Sri Lankan made fishing vessels to European countries including the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and France.
egombo – A radical new, locally built high-speed catamaran fishing boat is poised to significantly boost the number of top-price tuna available for export from Sri Lanka to markets in Japan, China and the Middle East.
It will also help ensure tuna sustainability in Sri Lankan waters by reducing by up 70 per cent the number of fish needed to be caught in order to ensure maximum profitability.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has expressed keen interest in the new vessel, which will help put the country at the forefront of next-generation fishing-boat development.