Sri Lanka officially informs Chinese investors of resuming construction of Colombo Port City Project

Mar 14, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government on Monday officially informed the Chinese investors of resuming the construction of the multibillion dollar Colombo Port City project, one year after its suspension, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

The Ministry of Ports and Shipping, in an official letter to the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, said that the company could resume the construction of the project immediately.

"At its meeting held on March 9, 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval for the project to resume immediately," the letter said.

"Accordingly the suspension effected by my letter dated March 6, 2015, is hereby withdrawn with effect from today (Monday)," the ministry said in the letter.

The current Sri Lankan government on 6th of March 2015 temporarily suspended the US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City project, which will be the first of its kind in South Asia, launched by the previous government in partnership with China in September 2014, due to the environmental issues and called for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

Following the environmental impact assessment (EIA), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has recommended allowing resumption of the project.

The project, funded by Chinese state-owned company China Communications Construction, represents the biggest single foreign investment ever received by Sri Lanka.

The urban complex project will build a city on 233 hectares (583 acres) of land reclaimed from the sea between the Colombo South Port and the Galle Face Green. Once completed the offshore city will have a marina and yacht club, a central boulevard, a sea view apartment complex and a five-star hotel, shopping and entertainment center, office space, a mini golf course, and many other modern facilities.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the island nation will have a "unique financial and business district" in Colombo when the Port City resumes work.

The project is expected to create employment, tax income and indirect opportunities for other services. The location of the project is expected to help connect businesses from India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Singapore and the Middle East.

According to the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Colombo Port City will become "a high-end urban complex in South Asia concentrating industries, including finance, tourism, logistics and information technology", and the whole project will create more than 80,000 jobs.

The Port City is also vital in the government's megapolis development program which was launched this year and is set to transform the capital and its suburbs in the coming years.

Source URL: Colombo Page