11 Apr CASA warns of impact to shipping industry; disastrous consequences of current economic crisis
The Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) in a statement has expressed its deep concern about the current economic situation in the country and its direct impact on the shipping industry.
“The shipping industry is the backbone of the country’s import and export trades and facilitates transportation of its essentials such as food, medicines, daily staples, etc. Shipping industry, whilst supporting the all-important export industry (that brings in foreign exchange) and is instrumental in ensuring all the exports of the country is exported and delivered to the destinations in time, also becomes an indirect exporter of services by providing their services to shipping lines and bringing in much needed foreign exchange to the country,” CASA said.
“It is of paramount importance that the Government instils confidence among the international shipping lines to continue to call on the port of Colombo/Sri Lankan ports while strengthening the banking system in order that freight collections can be remitted out to principals/shipowners in a timely manner without undue delay,” the statement added.
CASA called upon the Government to act immediately, create political stability to overcome the ongoing social unrest and address the key economic issues.
It said primarily there is an urgent need to renegotiate the country’s debt obligations, obtain bridge financing and regularise fuel and essential supplies to the core areas of economic activity.
Consequent to these measures the Government should set out a plan for renewed efforts on structural growth enhancing projects, fiscal and monetary policy reforms, phasing out import restrictions and improving Import and Export business. It is also imperative for the Government to accept and carry forward IMF proposals to increase overall resilience.
“We stress the importance of maintaining efficiency and faster turnaround at the Port of Colombo by ensuring continuous supply of fuel to support all land-based operations such as yard and inter-terminal trucking in order to provide efficient connectivity for transhipment containers while speedy clearance of imports will render overall efficiency improvements in the port,” CASA said.
“While we respect the rights of all citizens, we, at CASA, pledge and extend our fullest co-operation to work towards economic stability and be a part of the solution to revive Sri Lanka, for the betterment of all citizens of the country,” it added.
CASA is the voice of the shipping industry in Sri Lanka, comprising shipping agents who are member companies of CASA representing Global container liner companies as well as conventional and specialised vessel operators worldwide. Members of CASA provide a wide variety of services including husbandry services, marketing, operations, sales, acting as manning/crewing agents to international vessels calling the ports of Sri Lanka and earning vital foreign exchange and are a key enabling component of the country’s import export trade.