Aitken Spence recently entered into a public-private partnership with the Fiji Ports Corporation to oversee the repair and operation of Suva and Lautoka ports, the largest in Fiji; marking the first- ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan company recorded to-date.
Fiji media reported that the partnership is worth an estimated US$10.5 million. Aitken Spence PLC will own 51 per cent of the stake in Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd, the joint venture company, taking control of the business in two ports for a period of 15 years.
The Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Fiji, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, in his speech at the occasion said, “When we invited expressions of interest in a Public Private Partnership to invest in and manage Ports Terminal Limited in December, Aitken Spence came to us with a comprehensive blueprint to boost the efficiency and productivity of our port movements. We share the same vision to make these container terminals world class, to radically overturn the inefficiencies of the past and apply best practice to eventually establish them as the leading ports and maritime logistic centres in the Pacific”.
“Aitken Spence has a reputation for certain things my Government values most – innovation, imagination, thinking outside the box. We see it as the ideal partner to improve the overall performance of our two main ports and look forward to implementing our joint vision to transform the operations in Suva and Lautoka,” he further added.
The Fiji Sun quoted Aitken Spence Maritime Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake speaking to reporters at the official ceremony as saying, “I’m confident the public-private partnership will result in the establishment of Fiji as the gateway to the South Pacific. We will bring in the global best practices in human resources and the processes in the system and also in the sphere of having the right machinery to having the right level of productivity”.
Fiji Times had earlier reported that the poor management and lack of performance at the Suva and Lautoka ports are the main reasons behind the government’s decision to hand over the management of the ports to Aitken Spence.
Article appeared on the Sunday Times – Business Section – 18th August 2013
Picture shows Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister of Public Enterprises and Aitken Spence Maritime Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake (right) at the launch ceremony