- Expresses hope landmark project would attract massive foreign investments
- Says land deeds revised through discussions to ensure Sri Lanka’s sovereign land rights
President Maithripala Sirisena smiles along with Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan and Chinese Embassy, Urban Development Authority, and China Harbour Engineering Corporation officials as he signs documents to hand over the land title for the Port City project yesterday
The Colombo Port City land deed was handed over in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
The land grant was first handed over to Urban Development Authority (UDA), and in turn the UDA handed over the land under a lease agreement to China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) Port City Colombo Ltd.
CHEC has invested $ 1.4 billion in the reclamation of the Port City, which is expected to draw a further $ 13.6 billion (at current cost) in foreign direct investment for a host of facilities within it, including the International Financial Centre, recreation, commercial, and mixed developments etc.
According to the agreement reached between the Sri Lankan Government and CHEC Port City Colombo, all 269 hectares of reclaimed land will be owned by the Sri Lankan Government, with 91 acres for public use, 62 acres of commercial use, and 116 acres to be leased by the UDA to CHEC Port City Colombo, on a 99 year lease for further development.
President Maithripala Sirisena said that the Port City Project was a valuable important investment for the long-term economic development of Sri Lanka, and expressed hope that it would attract massive foreign investments.
The President said that when his Government came to power in 2015, it took immediate steps to renegotiate the Colombo Port City Agreement to ensure that Sri Lanka’s sovereignty was not adversely affected by the land transfer. During the discussions, the two parties could arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement, to ensure that the land rights would remain with Sri Lanka, he said.
While the UDA retains the land ownership, the land extent was leased to the CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd.
The land grant was handed over by Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe to UDA Director General S.S.P. Ratnayake, in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan. Later, the UDA DG handed over the lease agreement to CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd. Managing Director Jiang Houliang. Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne, and Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Ministry Secretary W.H. Karunaratne were also present on this occasion.