Strengthening its maritime services portfolio, diversified blue-chip Aitken Spence enhanced its venture into maritime education by significantly increasing its shareholding in Colombo International Nautical & Engineering College (CINEC), Sri Lanka’s largest private higher education institution. The company first formed a partnership with CINEC in 2010. “Consolidating our partnership with CINEC is a part of our strategy to further strengthen our contribution towards positioning Sri Lanka as major regional hub for maritime services. Given an encouraging enabling environment we see tremendous opportunity for the private sector to spearhead the country’s vision to exploit its strategic geographic location and skilled human resources to become the regional maritime hub”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC. With an unrivalled gamut of services Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest logistics service provider. The Group’s involvement with cargo and maritime logistics began from its inception, over a century ago. Through the years, the Aitken Spence has evolved to become a fully integrated logistics solutions provider, extending its services worldwide. “The association with CINEC has helped Aitken Spence to further strengthen its maritime portfolio. Through the world-class faculty and teaching facilities, the education and training instilled into the number of men and women who study under this institution results in maritime specialists who are equipped, not only to raise the profile of Sri Lanka’s maritime industry but also to add value to the global maritime industry”, said Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Director of Aitken Spence PLC. The CINEC Maritime Campus was established in 1990 and is the only campus of its kind in Sri Lanka and the region. It is especially known for the high level of quality instruction and training provided to students. CINEC’s objective is to create and foster healthy working partnerships with professional organisations and stakeholders in the maritime industry, while providing excellent employment opportunities to its maritime students and graduates. The largest private education campus in Sri Lanka, CINEC’s annual student intake is over 14,000 men and women. The state-of-the-art maritime campus has sophisticated laboratories that house up to date simulators and best in modern technology, which has won them approval by the Directorate of Merchant Shipping in Sri Lanka. CINEC was judged to be the best Education and Training facility in the island and bestowed with the prestigious National Quality Award in 1999, 2004 and again in 2009. CINEC Maritime Campus is established on a firm foundation based on four internationally accredited Quality Management Systems: ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management System Standard, ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System Standard, OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System Standard and DNV Standard for certification of Maritime Academies No. 3.401; which ensure that the students are served with a sense of professionalism and care. CINEC is affiliated to the University of Wolverhampton in the UK as well as to the University of South Australia in Adelaide. In June 2009, CINEC signed up with Dalian Maritime University of China to conduct BSc and MBA degree programmes in the fields of Information Technology, International Transportation Management, Planning and Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management. This was the first branch of its kind opened by the Dalian Maritime University. Dalian Maritime University (DMU) is one of the largest and best maritime universities in the world and is the only key maritime institution under the Ministry of Communications, People’s Republic of China. DMU has over 100 year tradition of excellence in teaching, learning & research. It enjoys a high reputation internationally & has been recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as being an excellent centre for maritime education & training. Ship handling, imports and exports are the businesses Aitken Spence Maritime was founded on. The Company acquired its first agency, the Scottish owned ‘Clan Line’ in 1873, when it was still known as Clark Spence & Company. With the new Aitken Spence partnership in 1876 the Company moved its headquarters to Colombo. Back then Aitken Spence Shipping was the only operator along with E. Coates who helped maintain the day to day operations of the Colombo harbour through the supply of labour and the handling of general administration. Apart from casual caller/tramp agency representation, the Company handles all other areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, ship owning and chartering services. With the Group’s involvement in the leisure industry, the company is able to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators. Aitken Spence Maritime is the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent. Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, financial services, insurance, information technology and garments.