The Indian subcontinent will drive the world economy in the future, and at the heart of this new maritime region, and at the heart of world trade is Sri Lanka. I believe that Sri Lanka could easily emerge as the new great maritime nation - joining the ranks with Singapore and the UAE as a leader in the maritime world, said Noboru Ueda Chairman and President of ClassNK in Colombo on Tuesday, July 10.
He was making these observations at the Port, Trade and Logistics Conference and Exhibition in Colombo and describing the world's heavily travelled routes, Noboru said that Sri Lanka was right along the most heavily travelled routes in the world.
"This strategic location is one of the reasons that Sri Lanka has such a bright future in the maritime industry. In this strategic location, Sri Lanka is in very good company. On this same route, we can see the countries and regions, i.e. Singapore on Right and Dubai, UAE on the left", said the ClassNK chief.
He noted that location alone was not enough to ensure success in the maritime industry but Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka maritime industry were already showing signs that it would continue to be a success in the future.
"Like Singapore and Dubai before it, Sri Lanka is making the right investments for the future and looking to partners overseas to achieve success," Observed the maritime veteran.
Commenting on the contribution of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), the ClassNK head said that the state entity had made major commitments to constantly upgrade and expand the capabilities of Sri Lankan ports combining support from the Asian Development Bank with top engineering firms from Korea, China and the Far East.
Work was ongoing not only to expand existing ports, but also to create new ports and infrastructure throughout the country, he said.
"Here too we see Sri Lanka following in the footsteps of the great maritime nations that have come before it," said Noboru Ueda.
Noting that although success in the maritime industry was not a simple task and although it might still take many years, Noboru said that Sri Lanka had set itself on a path to great success in the future.
"If Sri Lanka can succeed as a new maritime nation, which I believe it can, then with Dubai and Singapore, we will have three new maritime stars in the region.
In doing so, Sri Lanka will help give shape to a new Indian Ocean centred maritime industry, finally inking the traditional ship owning heart of Europe and the shipping and shipbuilding hubs of East Asia, with the growing economies of the Indian Subcontinent," said the ClassNK chief and added that, "And that will be a truly great day for the world maritime industry."
Commenting on what he described as the New Map, Noboru said that with the growth of Singapore and the Middle East as maritime centres, a new map had to be drawn for the maritime industry.
"As you can see the industry is shifting from North to South, and we can again draw a new East-West line linking Dubai and the Middle East with Singapore.
In this new southern maritime zone, we can see all of the emerging maritime nations. In the East, we have not only Singapore but all of the growing nations of South East Asia," said the ClassNK chairman.
According to the ClassNK chairman at the centre of this new map there is the Indian Ocean Subcontinent, which is quickly becoming one of the most important economic areas in the entire world.
With growing populations, a rapidly surging economy, a hunger for natural resources and growing demand for new ports and other infrastructure, there was little doubt that it is the Indian subcontinent that would drive the world economy in the future, he said and declared that, "at the heart of this new maritime region, and at the heart of world trade is Sri Lanka.
I believe that Sri Lanka could easily emerge as the new great maritime nation - joining the ranks with Singapore and the UAE as a leader in the maritime world."
Noboru Ueda, Chairman and President of ClassNK, world's largest classification society, who has spent more than 40 years in the maritime industry, said that since joining ClassNK in 1969, he had witnessed first-hand many incredible changes that the industry had undergone not only in terms of new ship design and technology, but also in terms of geography.
The event was organized by Seatrade, a leading publisher and event organizer in the maritime and cruise markets, and hosted by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).
Source: The Sunday Leader