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Nov 21, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is in danger of losing an opportunity to emerge as a logistics hub for the south Asian region unless it acts to improve port efficiency, fast track infrastructure projects and cut red tape, officials said Wednesday. “Apart from peace, the most important requirement for Sri Lanka is logistics,” declared Niral Kadawatharatchie, chairman of the Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders’ Association.

The country had displayed remarkable resilience in growing fast despite the ethnic conflict and Colombo port had emerged as a hub for the region even with the island’s troubles.

But delays in modernising port and other transport infrastructure, introducing electronic commerce and improving efficiency meant the island was in danger of losing its hard won gains, he told a meeting of industry professionals.

It was organised by the Asian Development Bank, the Freight Forwarders’ Association and the Academy for International Trade and Transport.

Kadawatharatchie urged the island’s private sector to lobby the government to get on with long delayed projects to modernise its creaking transport infrastructure and introduce electronic commerce.

The government should also do away with archaic laws and regulations that