Sri Lanka is a paradise for investors who could be attracted to and developing several industries in the country. Sri Lankan waters should be tapped to its full potential where many industries can be developed, Prof. G. L Peiris, Minister International Trade and Export Development said last week.
Sri Lanka is organising the ‘Boat Show 2010’ which is expected to boost the boat building trade and related industries and attract investments to the country. The last show in 2008 saw 44 participant stalls and attracted over 80 buyers.
Organizers said they hoped this year’s Boat Show would attract 70 stalls to the exhibition with over 200 buyers visiting the expo.
Boating is a area of development potential in Sri Lanka to boost the economy as Sri Lanka could be a trade hub for the four corners of the world, said Industrialists.
Restrictions due to war had a negative impact on the boating industry.
"The government should remove restrictions in order to develop this industry which can earn a high level of foreign exchange," said Boat Building Technology Institute president Neil Fernando.
"It is necessary for authorities to recognize and develop the sector. Tourism growth could gain as well by this with proper implementation of plans to develop the boating industry.
"The government should provide access to larger vassals to enter the harbours. Providing access could attract larger passenger ships to the country which would boost the tourism industry," Fernando said.
The boat building industry earned US$ 61 million in 2009 through boat exports and it was a substantial growth from the earnings of US$ 37 million in 2007.
"The fisheries industry earns US$ 100 million and, focusing boat building for the fisheries industry alone cannot boost the boating industry to its true potential," Prof. Peiris said.
"The government is working towards removing restrictions of technology used in the boat industry and it would take a while to fully implement it. This is because although the country has been seen an end to the war, it has not fully recovered to normalcy, the minister said.
The Boat Show 2010 will be held in Colombo from April 24 to 26.