The High Commission of India organised 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, in Mumbai. The Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva, attended the event as the chief guest. On the Indian side, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Government of India, Mr. 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, 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, the 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. The High Commissioner thanked the Hon. 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 accorded the status of ‘Partner Country’ at the summit.


The Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Government of India, informed me 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 the 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, policymakers 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 the government of Sri Lanka an opportunity to attract greater investment from India in the 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, the Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation emphasised the importance of close collaboration, exchange of knowledge, and adaptation of new technology for the growth of the maritime sector. He appreciated Indian investment in port development in Sri Lanka and highlighted the desire of both governments to work closely to develop the industrial zone at Trincomalee. The minister recalled India’s support in establishing air connectivity between Jaffna and Chennai and announced the 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 catalysing the economic development of the entire region. Senior officials from prominent associations like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce, the Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents, the Association of Container Transporters, the Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association, the Hub Operators Association of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Logistics Providers Association, the Sri Lanka Shipper’s Council, and the International Chamber of Commerce attended the event.