Posted on February 3rd, 2019


 Dr Sarath Obeysekera


“The Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade together with EDB spearheaded the process of formulating the National Export Strategy (NES), which was launched in July 2018, with the vision  of Sri Lanka – an Export Hub driven by Innovation and Investment”, which is now being implemented successfully. ??????

We are in the process of linking the NES implementation planning, by carrying out discussions with the lead implementers together with the support institutions, and the Advisory Committees established by the EDB, have already commenced implementation while the NES Management Unit (NESMU) which was established under the MoDSIT leads the co-ordination, follow up and tracking of the NES. 

A meeting has been scheduled to be held on Friday 01st February 2019 from 9.30 a.m. onwards, at the BOI Auditorium,   8th Floor, West Tower, WTC, Colombo 1, with the Hon. Ministers of Transport & Civil Aviation, Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources and Port & Shipping and Southern Development. This meeting will be convened by the Hon. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade. 

At this meeting, it is proposed to discuss the importance of developing inland waterways transport system in Sri Lanka, which is related to the Boat Building sector.”


As the co chairman of the advisory committee appointed by the government to develop boat building and Nautical Tourism I attended the forum.

All the ministers other than Hon Samarawickrama were not present .Absence of the Magapolis minister was notable and none of the officers from Magapolis were present during the forum .Transport Minister has excused himself, instead his brother who is the newly appointed chairman of Airport and Aviation was present, who talked about encroachments in railway land. Everyone in the forum were not able to understand the relevance to Logistic issue.

Most of the junior government officers were unable to contribute to develop a plan of strategy to make NES a reality.

My bouquet is undoubtedly offered to Ms Indira Malwatte who struggled so hard to make the forum a fruitful one.

To my understanding most of the speakers contributed to the forum which could help taking NES forward.

Canal Transport is a brain child of Megapolis and absence of  any officer and the minister was very discouraging. I attended the forum with some ideas to make the Canal Transport in the forefront, but everyone has forgotten even to review the progress.

After a long struggle Megapolis plans to deploy some 30 passenger boats in Beira Lake from Fort to Union Place .Boats to be built by the Navy for SLLRDC to be managed, but I was told the Treasury is not willing to provide funds, let alone encouraging private sector to develop the transport.

Government is struggling for survival by shaping up the constitution, but development of the country is on standstill. ????


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