KUALA LUMPUR: The number of cargo containers shipped between Colombo and Port Klang was down 60% in the first six months of this year, as the crisis in Sri Lanka took its toll on bilateral trade.
Datuk Kevin Lim, adviser cum honorary president of the Association of Shipping and Logistics Fraternity Selangor, said prior to the crisis, trade between the two countries was on the rise.
In a statement, he said Malaysia is one of the major trading partners of Sri Lanka.
“There were a total of 18,989 standard containers for export from Port Klang to Port Colombo and 8,496 containers for import last year,” he said.
Due to the political turmoil and financial crisis in Sri Lanka, bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Malaysia was down 60% in June compared to January, he said.
The number of containers for export from Port Klang to Sri Lanka dropped from 1,803 in January to only 592 in June.
The number of containers from Sri Lanka to Port Klang was also down to 515 in June. It was 1,507 in January.
Lim said Malaysia imported flour, paper products, resins, fruits, marine products and charcoal from Sri Lanka and exported palm oil, steel, frozen products, beverages, liquor, vinegar, electronic items, food, household appliances, wood products and rubber products to Sri Lanka.
Trade with Sri Lanka would only return to normalcy after the political situation becomes stable in the country, he said.
Citing similar experiences faced by Iceland and Greece, Lim said these two countries were out of crisis after they received financial aid from the International Monetary Fund and European Union.