Port City one of the best investments SLPA attracted: SLPA Chairman

Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lanka-Germany Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast meeting with SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama to learn about the proposed Port City and the country’s journey towards becoming South Asia’s maritime hub and a logistics centre. The meeting, which took place recently in Colombo, with the attendance of several business leaders of the local business community, saw Dr. Wickrama elaborating about the plans lined up to develop the local port sector and also details about the proposed port city.     Port City plans He said the new port city would be built without the Government spending a rupee, while the Chinese firm which has got the contract will pump in $ 1.34 billion to complete the first phase of the project. The first phase will include reclaiming the land, building the breakwater and developing the required infrastructure. According to the Port Chairman, the Chinese firm will be given 108 hectares, out of a total 234 hectares that will be reclaimed to build the city, in return for their investment. The Chinese firm will bring in another $ 2.5 billion, on top of their initial investment to develop the reclaimed land allocated for the company. The land will be given on a 99-year lease contract. Wickrama said the Government will have 125 hectares and those lands would be given on lease for potential investors to set up projects. He said already some local investors have shown interest to invest in the new city. The city will include modern office complexes, five star hotels, a yacht marina, residential apartments, recreational facilities, a mini golf course and many more. In total, Sri Lanka is planning to attract $ 20 billion worth of investments to the new port city, on a 15 to 20 year range. “The new port city is one of the best deals attracted by the SLPA,” Wickrama told the gathering, which also saw the attendance of German Ambassador in Sri Lanka Juergen Morhard.     Port-related investments Speaking on other port-related development activities, Wickrama said that up to 2020, Sri Lanka is planning to invest $ 10 billion to develop its ports sector. Already, since 2008, the Government has invested $ 2.2 billion to develop the port and related infrastructure. The SLPA Chief said a marketing campaign is now underway to bring in major shipping lines to call in Sri Lanka and also to attract investors from destinations, such as, USA, Europe, Middle East, and China, etc. to invest in Sri Lanka’s port sector. “We are trying to attract, shipping and related industrialists to set up offices in Colombo,” he said. Speaking about the Hambantota Port and the Industrial Zone, Wickrama said SLPA has already attracted 18 investors for an investment value of $ 1.8 billion. It was also made to know that discussions are underway to develop the Trincomalee Port and authorities are in consultation with the Asian Development Bank.