Look into importers’ and exporters’ needs | Page 2 | Sunday Observer
Shippers’ Council tells Govt

Look into importers’ and exporters’ needs

25 July, 2021

The Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council will do its utmost to get the trade facilitation and the National Single Window agenda to the top of the list with other critical needs to boost trade, said newly elected Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council Chairman Russell Juriansz at the 51st Annual General Meeting last week. “Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council is committed to prioritise some key issues which have been long overdue for many years. 

In this context, we hope to work more closely with the policy makers in order to support the government’s vision of Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor,” Juriansz said, adding the Council would  not stop there but would  drive the collaboration agenda with all other agencies and association to collectively achieve benefits for the trade in Sri Lanka enabling the country to move up in the Ease of Doing Business from its current ranking of 99th position to be within the first fifty. He said the Shippers’ Council is the apex body for shippers which covers Imports and Exports with a specific focus on Exports which is the most crucial activity that this country needs now more than ever. So the Council will be shouldering this challenge together with the authorities with a clear vision to boost the Exports in the country. In doing so, Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council is committed to identify the major challenges that the shippers are facing and propose pragmatic solutions to suit the modern day business module.   

Although the government has now relaxed certain restrictions on the nation, we believe in being ‘safe rather than sorry’, hence our decision to hold this prestigious event virtually, Juriansz said. “We do not know for how long this pandemic will prevail and adjusting to this new normal quickly, is our strength to lead the council and deliver results to all stakeholders during this difficult period. I would greatly appreciate the support of the past chairmen, honorary members and the executive committee to help me and my Vice Chairman to steer this Council to greater heights during these unprecedented times.

As you are aware that the world is going through times never experienced before, and our way of life has changed so drastically that we would never have imagined this situation a few years back. 

It is under such circumstances that the council undertakes to unite all stake holders to weather the storm and take us through to the end of this pandemic which will be our top most priority as stated at the outset. Let us not look back but focus our attention to this objective and the safety of all.

The exports of our country have shown an upward movement since the second wave of the pandemic and if we keep focused, we could reach reasonable growth in all sectors.

“Some of the challenges our exporters and importers are facing such as, need of good Equipment due to the drop in imports due to restrictions, Space, Delays in vessel schedules, higher freight rates and an acute shortage of foreign exchange in the country. The council will engage all stakeholders concerned to minimize these challengers for the benefit of all concerned and the country at large.

“I request that the government looks favourably at the needs of the exporters and importers, by realigning its foreign exchange policy, granting incentives to increase their capacity and to conduct business with ease,” the Council’s chief said.

The Council is already engaged and greatly appreciate the efforts of Sri Lanka Customs Modernisation program and the Director Merchant Shipping declaring a sealing of maximum delivery order charges, timeline to refund  container deposits and a mechanism for arbitration to give relief to imports, which has already been achieved to name a few that the council has reached out for the benefit of all stakeholders. Seeing that complaints are growing, it is the duty of the policy makers to ensure that the decisions are implemented legally and to transform the wrongdoers in the right direction for the benefit of the trade.