The High Commission of India organized a Curtain Raiser in Colombo on September 22, 2023 for the Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) to be held in India from October 17-19, 2023 at Mumbai. The Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva attended the event as the Chief Guest. From the Indian side, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India, T K Ramachandran and senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways attended the event virtually. The High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, H.E. Gopal Baglay, senior officials from the Government of Sri Lanka and captains of business and industry, were also present at the event.

In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner stressed the importance of cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the maritime sector. He highlighted that both Governments are working on enhancing sea connectivity, as mentioned in the vision document launched by the leaders during the recent visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India. High Commissioner thanked Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation for confirming participation at the forthcoming summit in India in October 2023 and announced that Sri Lanka has been has been accorded the status of ‘Partner Country’ at the summit.

Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India, informed that the Global Maritime India Summit is a flagship event aimed at propelling the Indian maritime economy by promoting global and regional partnerships and facilitating investments. He welcomed participation of the delegation from Sri Lanka, led by the Hon. Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation at the 3-day summit in India, which will bring together global maritime players, policy makers and regulators, key opinion leaders and industry leaders through a series of engaging dialogues, forums and knowledge exchange platforms. He further mentioned that the event will give an opportunity to the Government of Sri Lanka in attracting greater investment from India in development of its maritime infrastructure. It will also facilitate greater business to business interactions.

Thanking the Government of India for inviting him to the Global Maritime India Summit, Hon. Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation emphasized the importance of close collaboration, exchange of knowledge and adaptation of new technology for growth of the maritime sector. He appreciated Indian investment in port development in Sri Lanka and highlighted the desire of both the Governments to work closely to develop the industrial zone at Trincomalee. Minister recalled India’s support in establishing air connectivity between Jaffna and Chennai and announced early commencement of ferry services between the two countries.

Mr. Romesh David, CEO of the South Asia Gateway Terminals, Port of Colombo, who also addressed the event, highlighted the potential of India-Sri Lanka collaboration in the maritime sector in catalyzing economic development of the entire region. Senior officials from prominent Associations like Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Indo Lanka Chamber of Commerce, Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents, Association of Container Transporters, Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association, Hub Operators Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Logistics Providers Association, Sri Lanka Shipper’s Council, International Chamber of Commerce, attended the event.