Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama visited the Rigid Tyre CorporationLtd factory site, which is being built at the BOI Wagawatte Industrial Park.The factory represents atotal investment of $250 million, with the possibility of increasing to as much as $300 million.
The project will adhere to all environmental protection measures.Since the company is located within the premises of the Wagawatte Industrial Park, an environmental approval has been obtained from the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).This complies with the National Environment Requirements.The company will also introduce advanced environmentally friendly technology.
In economic terms, the project is also very significant.It will create 3,000 direct employment opportunities and possibly three times as many indirect jobs.In addition new opportunities for local entrepreneurs have arisen, including the construction ofdormitories,transport, supply of materials, and other services.
The production of tyreswill also boost the demand and create increased value for Sri Lankan natural rubber.
The Minister met with investor NandanaLokuwithana and was assisted by BOI Board member MangalaYapa, BOI Director General Duminda Ariyasinghe,and other Senior Officials of the Board.In addition, a number of key institutions, including the Road Development Authority, Ceylon Electricity Board, and other state institutions also participated.The objective of the meeting was to look at all aspects and potential challenges a project of this magnitude, which is a joint Sri Lanka and Chinese investment, would face when it is completed in an estimated 6 months.
Minister Samarawickrama congratulated the investor and stated: “We can see the development that is now taking place.Every effort must be made from the BOI to ensure that this project is monitored in every way, and that very high standards are met.It is for this reason that we have brought together not just the BOI, but also the Central Environmental Authority, the Ceylon Electricity Board, Road Development Authority,and the Water Board, together with key officials of the BOI, to look at all aspects of this project and ensure that it is successfully completed.”
The Minister added:“When a project like this is operational, it will send a very powerful signal to other enterprises to follow suit by investing.From our side, we will ensure that this project will receive all the support needed,especially with some of the vital utilities that are required.We can also showcase this project as a success story to attract other global investors.”
The discussion also covered some of the infrastructure that needs to be established, including the road access to the project, supply of power and of water and other matters. In addition, it was agreed that regular meetings would be held with the purpose of monitoring the progress of theproject.
Furthermore,the Minister also stated that the project will meet all environmental standards, particularly in the use of waste water, and Central Environmental Authority would play an important role in maintaining the high standards required.
Sri Lanka’s exports of rubber products, including tyres, are worth $876 million (7.5% of total exports).