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“Technology transfer needed for capacity building in Port sector”

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“In the area of capacity building, we need the system and we need transfer of technology,” said Minister of Ports shipping and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva. The Minister was the Chief Guest at the Implementation of the Port and Maritime Sector Capacity development Project by the Colombo Plan Secretariat of the United States Department of States on January 31, 2024. The event was held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Colombo.


“The Port of Colombo has transformed itself into a modern port now. But we have not achieved the target yet. We have a lot to understand about the latest technology and how to absorb it into our systems. We have to prepare our young people to grab this technology. We want innovative people, not people who are thinking in an archaic manner. Therefore, we have a very great task ahead. I’m sure with the assistance of the US and the Colombo Plan and with the assistance of all other countries, Sri Lanka will be able to do well in the maritime sector,” the Minister said.



The Colombo Plan, with funding from the U.S. Embassy, launched this three-year program to enhance the technical expertise of Sri Lanka Ports Authority staff and advance “smart” port operations at the Port of Colombo. The Colombo Plan and Sri Lanka Ports Authority signed a letter of intent at the launch and a Memorandum of Understanding will be extended in detail that contributes to the development and sustainability of maritime and port operations in Sri Lanka by introducing modern port systems, new technologies, and international best practices. US funding supports Sri Lanka’s ports initiative to boost productivity and competitiveness, positioning its ports as crucial regional hubs in South Asia. He said that when Sri Lanka underwent an economic crisis and, as a result, assistance was sought from friendly countries to achieve a permanent solution,


“We had no other alternative than to seek the assistance of the IMF. It was a painful exercise to go before the IMF and agree to the very tough conditions they had imposed upon us.


The process was complicated and time-consuming. I recollect with gratitude the support and assistance extended by the USA to reach consensus with the IMF and sort out the issue. I also take this opportunity to thank India, China, Japan, and the Paris Club for supporting us in these difficult circumstances. We are going through that difficult path with lots of courage and expectations,” the Minister said.

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