Sri Lanka aims for $15 billion investment in Colombo Port City in five years

Sri Lanka expects to attract at least $ 15 billion in investment into the Colombo Port City Project within the next five years, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said

Jun 09, 2021
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Colombo Port City

Sri Lanka expects to attract at least $ 15 billion in investment into the Colombo Port City Project within the next five years, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said. 

His remark came on Tuesday during an investment summit, Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021, held virtually between 7 -9 June. He said that the government aims to create non-debt foreign exchange flow in the country, reported The Morning newspaper.

The three-day investment conference, themed Sri Lanka - Asia’s Next Growth Haven, is one of Asia’s largest investment summits held virtually, according to Sanjaya Mohottala, the chairman of Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI). It was jointly organized by the BOI, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Representatives of over 80 countries participated in the investment summit. And over 1800 investors have shown interest in investing in Sri Lanka, officials said. Gopal Baghlay, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka,  was among envoys of countries like China, Japan, the US, and the EU who attended. 

Calling the conference “a timely measure”, Rajapaksa highlighted the recent actions taken to formulate and implement a legal business facilitation framework in order to launch the Colombo Port City Project (CPC) through the new act.

During his address, he said the government anticipated prioritizing programs such as private equity sales and making debt instruments effective by pushing venture capitals. He also added that the government has been providing opportunities for foreign investment.

Furthermore, plans are underway, he claimed, to achieve a development rate of over 6 percent in the country.  

"We hope to achieve short-term and long-term economic gains in the investment sector in Sri Lanka through such a conference,” Mohattala, the BOI Chairman, was quoted as saying by Colombopage. 

Through the Colombo Port City Project, the Sri Lankan government has been trying to project Colombo as the future financial market hub of the South Asia region. A few weeks ago, the government enacted a new law, the Colombo Port city Economic Commission Act, to govern the port city area, where it had granted special powers, immunity to members of the commission, and concessions to investors. 

The bill had created a controversy in the country, with opposition leaders claiming that city would convert into a "Chinese colony." On the other hand, the government defended the act, arguing it would facilitate investment, and expedite the process of granting approval to the foreign investment proposals. (SAM)

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