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Crisis-hit Sri Lanka eyes $200 mln yearly from foreign ships

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is eying to earn $200 million annual income from foreign ships traversing in its water by developing Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs), the State Defence Minister said as the island nation is in the process of coming out of an unprecedented economic crisis.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the Defence Minister, has already issued a gazette for navy to start the creation of ENCs, State Defence Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said.

“Sea of Sri Lanka is located in a very strategic location. This is the route where all ships travel. We have ignored the charts of these ships for decades. We have realized that through such charts, Sri Lanka can earn $200 million,” Tennakoon told reporters in Colombo at a media briefing.

He said out of 122 ENCs, only six have been created.

“We lose significant revenue because we don’t have ENCs. It’s a huge task. Within two years we should be able to chart all,” he said.

“Priority will be given for places where we can earn revenue,” he said, referring to yachts using charts when they travel for leisure purposes.

“We can even think of yacht hubs. Each should use at least two ENCs and one chart (ENC) could earn a revenue of $25.”

He said the move could be used to earn revenue from 350000-45000 ships traveling the main sea route near Sri Lanka.

“It is important for the economy, tourism, and national security.”

The existing nautical charts are managed by the British Hydrographic Office according to an agreement with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) Institute.

At present, the NARA Institute has entered into an agreement with the British Hydrographical Office for the creation of nautical maps covering the ocean region belonging to Sri Lanka. (Colombo/Nov 24/2025)

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