Written by Zulfick Farzan
19 May, 2020 | 12:04 pm
Colombo (News 1st): President Gotabaya Rajapaksa decided to explore the possibility of finding employment for Sri Lankans at prominent shipping companies in the world at a time where major shipping lines are facing labour shortages in the international market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was discussed during a meeting with the representatives of leading local shipping companies at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday.
The possibility for Sri Lankans working in foreign ships which are sailing from east to west close to the southern coastal belt to enter and leave from the Galle habour was also discussed.
The representatives of the shipping companies revealed, daily more than 300 trade vessels sail 10 nautical miles away from the Galle Port.
They pointed out, by creating an environment for those sailors to return to their respective countries via Sri Lanka will pave the way to generate huge foreign exchange revenue.
President Rajapaksa stressed this opportunity can be used to promote SriLankan Airlines as well.
It was pointed out at the meeting the Galle harbor could be developed into a Global Crew Exchange Hub.
President instructed the officials to adhere to health guidelines and regulations in the course of implementing this programme.
Of the 1.6 million global shipping crew 16,000 or 1% of the total are Sri Lankans.
They annually contribute USD 300 million to the Sri Lankan economy.
President Rajapaksa added a twofold increase in the number of Sri Lankans in the field would double the country’s foreign exchange income.
With the assurance of a quality-centric service to foreign naval corporations, Sri Lankan employees can secure more opportunities to work for longer periods in foreign vessels, positively affecting the local economy.
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