Sri Lanka becoming global distribution hub

Sri Lanka's strategic location has allowed it to grow into a key international distribution base. Its free trade agreement with populous neighbor India has made the once war-torn island nation attractive to logistics companies and manufacturers.

Expolanka Holdings has an international distribution center next to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. Textiles from Vietnam and Bangladesh are brought to the center, sorted out by destination and then loaded on to cargo planes and ships. The Middle East, Europe and the US are the main destinations for the cargo.

The major Sri Lankan logistics company provides distribution services in 18 countries across South Asia, the Middle East and Africa and has roughly 60 facilities. Japan's SG Holdings bought Expolanka in June last year for about 8 billion yen (S$80 million). Through the acquisition, the parent company of Sagawa Express, a key player in the Japanese parcel delivery market, has gained footholds in markets where strong growth is expected.

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