Sri Lankan president invites investors to pump in money in China-backed Colombo Port City

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has invited investors across the world to tap the potential of Chinese-funded Colombo Port City and join a “transformational journey” by investing in the island nation

Jun 08, 2021
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Colombo Port City (File)

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has invited investors across the world to tap the potential of Chinese-funded Colombo Port City and join a “transformational journey” by investing in the island nation.

“The government’s vision is to make the Colombo Port City a key service hub for one of the fastest-growing regions in the world,” the president said adding “We encourage business leaders from all nations to make full use of the unique strengths and many opportunities that the Port City affords by investing here.”

Rajapaksa made these remarks while delivering the keynote address at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021, ColomboPage reported.

 “My Government has ambitious plans to unleash a decade of transformational and rapid economic growth to double our national output from its current level to 8,000 dollars GDP per capita by 2030’,” president Rajapaksa said.

“Our unique geostrategic position, political stability, robust institutions and social infrastructure, educated and capable workforce and high quality of life are some of Sri Lanka’s current strengths. We will leverage on these to set the platform for our growth target,” he said.

“For centuries, Sri Lanka has been a hub that connected the East and the West. With its world-class port infrastructure in Colombo and Hambantota, the country is capable of providing services even to the largest container ships that traverse the busy Indian Ocean,” Rajapaksa added.

The country is well-positioned to be a transshipment and logistics hub for the region. Therefore, the president said vast opportunities are available to make investments in this area.

The 269- hectare Chinese-funded Port City is being developed adjoining Colombo port on reclaimed land from the Indian Ocean.
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The Sri Lankan government hopes the project could attract USD 15 billion in investments, and emerge as a leading business, retail, residential and tourist destination in South Asia.
 
Many analysts say the port city could be a game-changer for the USD 84 billion Sri Lankan economy. Yet some others call the project a potential threat to the island nation’s sovereignty, arguing that the new commercial zone would become a "Chinese colony".
 
(SAM)

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