Bangladesh to use Colombo port as transshipment hub
Sri Lanka has given its concurrence for the Coastal Shipping Agreement to be signed with Bangladesh to improve connectivity between ports of the two countries, Bangladeshi High Commissioner Riaz Hamidullah said.
Mr. Hamidullah told Daily Mirror yesterday that Bangladesh had a trade volume of US $ 85 billion, and US $ 35 billion of it accounted for exports.
Of these total exports, he said, cargoes bound for markets in the western world, could be transshipped through Colombo. He said Bangladesh concluded a coastal shipping agreement with India in 2015.
“After our relations picked up with India after 2009, we decided that one of the ways to go for is South Asian regionalization. We need to open up with India and other parts. As a result, connectivity improvement is key. We are pursuing connectivity through rail, road and inland waterways and maritime waterways,” he said.
He said such an agreement would boost trading between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He said the use of Singapore as a transshipment hub for Bangladeshi exports would be costly and time consuming. As a result, he said Bangladesh could make good use of the Colombo port provided that it had connectivity with main shipping liners.
“The agreement is based on subtle business principles,” he said. The agreement is well in line with the BIMSTEC agreement. In this instance, the member states reiterated the commitment to establish seamless multi-modal transportation linkages and smooth, synchronized and simplified transit facilities.