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US Ambassador Julie Chung envisions sustainable future for Sri Lanka’s ports

By: Staff Writer

May 23, Colombo (LNW): U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, presented a progressive vision for Sri Lanka’s ports at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum Satellite Event in Colombo, emphasizing the integration of environmental sustainability with economic growth.

“Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indo-Pacific region makes its ports a critical hub for international trade,” Chung stated. “By adopting sustainable practices, Sri Lanka can enhance its competitiveness and contribute significantly to global efforts to combat climate change.”

A recent visit by a Sri Lankan delegation to Washington, D.C., facilitated by the U.S. government, underscored this vision. The delegation, led by Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Keith Bernard and Secretary of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation K. D. S. Ruwanchandra, explored sustainable operations at the Port of Virginia and Old Dominion University’s School of Supply Chain and Maritime Logistics.

Drawing parallels with the Port of Long Beach, known for its Green Port Policy, Chung highlighted successful investments in zero-emissions equipment and innovative policies to reduce environmental impacts. “It is our hope to see Sri Lanka’s ports set a regional benchmark by incorporating these sustainable practices,” she noted.

The event featured discussions with industry leaders on technological advancements and policy guidance to support sustainable practices in Sri Lanka’s ports, emphasizing collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Ambassador Chung’s vision for Sri Lanka’s ports reflects a commitment to sustainable development, demonstrating that economic growth and environmental sustainability can go hand in hand. With strategic implementation of green initiatives, Sri Lanka’s ports are poised to become leaders in sustainable operations within the Indo-Pacific region.

The private sector is poised to play a pivotal role in this transformation by providing services and equipment in support of port operations and the greening initiative.

The US Government’s support for Sri Lanka’s ports sector is robust and expanding, the largest contribution being a US International Development Finance Corporation investment of $ 553 million supporting the development of the West Container Terminal.

In addition, the US Embassy is facilitating capacity building programs for SLPA staff in the fields of cyber security, public-private partnerships, operational management, and human resources as it manages expanding port operations in Colombo and across the country.

The US Government’s ongoing support for the ports sector through the US Departments of State, Energy and Defense provides a boost to Sri Lanka’s economy while facilitating supply chain resilience for global trade. 

The event was held at the Courtyard by Marriot and speakers from the diplomatic community, Sri Lankan and Maldivian Government representatives and private sector industry leaders from the ports, shipping, and logistics sectors expressed their views.

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