SOLOMON Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) through discussions with their trading business partners has drafted plans to transform the ports into a car transshipment hub in the region.
SIPA CEO Eranda Kotelawala during an exclusive interview last week revealed the plan is to bring more exported cars to the Honiara ports before being distributed to other countries in the region.
“Through talks with our new trade partners, we are hopeful to make this plans become a reality,” Mr Kotelawala stated.
“We continue to work harder marketing our business development plans and improving the ports creating more space for storage of containers and imported cars of all sorts,” he added.
Mr Kotelawala said Solomon Islands geographic location is pivotal in the Pacific region, which is an advantage to transship cars.
“Cars will be offloaded here and then transshipped to other countries like PNG, Vanuatu, Samoa etc.
“Our new business partners have also shown their interest in this plans and pledge to render support,” the CEO said.
Japan’s largest shipping line Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) is one of the latest business partners, which Ports Management entered into.
NYK senior representative Yasutada Kobayashi has been in the country fortnight ago and held talks with the Ports CEO and tour the newly built international wharf.
Mr Kabayashi is accompanied by Carpenter Shipping General Manager for PNG, Solomon Islands Perba Sivalingam.
Carpenters Shipping Line is NYK’s agent in the Pacific region.
The recent signing of the Tripartite MoU by Ports, Maersk and Tri Marine also indicates the partnership with tuna industry for increase port calling at Noro and Honiara port.
By TEDDY KAFO