Aitken Spence public-private partnership with the Fiji Ports Corporation to oversee the operation of Suva and Lautoka ports, the largest in Fiji; recorded an increase in its efficiencies by 35 per cent within a short span of two months.
Marking the first- ever public-private partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company recorded to-date; diversified blue-chip Aitken Spence bought a 51 per cent stake in state-owned Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd, taking control of businesses of the two ports for a period of 15 years.
A function commemorating the Public Private Partnership between Fiji Ports Corporation and Aitken Spence PLC was held recently at the Holiday Inn Suva in Fiji, where Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Director of Aitken Spence PLC revealed the increased efficiencies in the Ports.
“Achieving substantial gains in efficiencies within two months is major milestone, especially in the absence of the shore cranes which are vital to enhance productivity and efficiency of the ports. Fiji Ports Corporation has assured us that it will be delivered by the end of this month” he noted.
Dr. Dissanayake further stressed what was encouraging was that shipping lines had written to them commending on the progress made so far. “This is a process where we have to continuously enhance the service delivery to sustain the level of efficiency to make sure we have a world class port” he added while encouraging all stakeholders to join hands to deliver the service standards that they were expecting.
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. J M S Brito said, “Efficient ports are a key driver of economic growth. We are committed to establishing world-class best practices to our port operations in Fiji to improve its efficiencies and enhance its competitive position”.
At the function, Attorney-General and Minister for Public Enterprises in Fiji, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the Fijian Government looks forward to Aitken Spence’s internationally-exposed skill sets to help incorporating efficient management systems and style to the Fijian people and to its broader operations. “We look forward to you bringing your skill set and your expertise that not only exists in Sri Lanka but various parts of the world” he said addressing the representatives from Aitken Spence.
Adding to his address, Hon. Sayed-Khaiyum stated that there are abundant prospects by Aitken Spence which the Fijian Government believes can be explored in numerous other areas. He indicated plans are currently underway on an agreement with Aitken Spence, with regards to further areas of engagement.
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. Aitken Spence was recognized as the Best Corporate Citizen by the country’s leading chamber of commerce for 2012.