May 30, Colombo: The first shipment from the Expo Global Distribution Centre (EGDC), a value added bonded warehousing facility under the free-port regulations at the Katunayake Export Processing Zone, left Sri Lanka, the Board of Investment (BOI) said Thursday.
EGDC is a BOI company registered under the new Finance Act that provides a range of value added logistics services at point of origin to freight customers enabling them to save costs and manage the supply chain effectively.
Eskimo Fashion Knitwear is the first company to make use of EGDC's unique value added services to international apparel retailers operating in Sri Lanka and the region. ReimaOy Finland is the first overseas buyer to benefit from EGDC's services.
EGDC functions as a Free Port, which is a Duty Free Zone allowing retail brands to bring down Goods to Sri Lanka without any customs inspection or duty.
The facility operates as a distribution center, providing storage solutions and value addition services, primarily targeted at the Fashion Apparel industry. In addition, EGDC provides services such as off shore businesses where goods can be procured from one country or manufactured in one country and shipped to another country without bringing same to Sri Lanka.
The government has introduced the Free Port concept to facilitate Sri Lanka's goal to become an International Trading & Transshipment Hub.
"This is an important milestone not only for EFL but also for Sri Lanka as a country seeking economic progress on par with countries such as Dubai and Singapore which already have such commercial hub facilities," Mr. Hanif Yusoof, Group CEO/Group Director of Expolanka Holdings PLC said,
The geographic location of Sri Lanka will be a key factor for shipping and logistics, especially for the container shipping industry which accounts for over 50% of global trade value (2013) and over 70% of transshipment volume through the port of Colombo.