Representatives of China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) and Sri Lanka's Browns Investments attend a signing ceremony for the Cooperation Agreement of Colombo International Financial Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dec. 17, 2020. (Xinhua)
COLOMBO, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Prominent conglomerates from Sri Lanka and China on Thursday signed a landmark agreement to commence the first large scale investment in the multi-billion-dollar port city project in capital Colombo which will strengthen Sri Lanka's economy and its development sector in the international market.
The agreement was signed between Browns Investments PLC, the Strategic Investment Arm of the LOLC Group which is one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in Sri Lanka and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), in the presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, to invest in the Colombo International Finance Centre (CIFC) Mixed-Use Development Project in the Colombo Port City, a statement said.
The Port City Colombo, in a statement said this was a milestone project comprising a land area under development of 6.8 hectares with an investment value totalling one billion U.S. dollars, representing important long-term implications on the economic growth of Sri Lanka.
The CIFC Mixed Development Project will be piloted over two phases, with the total investment in Phase one amounting to 450 million U.S. dollars with a land area spanning 3.06 hectares, which is leased from CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Limited.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa said attracting foreign direct investment was a key priority for his government, and this landmark project was a strong indicator that Sri Lanka was now back in business.
Ambassador Qi said it is well believed that the International Financial Centre Project will not only effectively boost the vigorous growth of Sri Lanka's finance and other industries, but also create more high-quality job opportunities, benefiting the general public and society.
Chairman of Browns Investment and Deputy Chairman of LOLC Group, Ishara Nanayakkara said his company was pleased to partner with CHEC on this landmark venture that optimises the true potential of Sri Lanka's strategic location within South Asia.
This project is well set to establish the Colombo International Finance Centre as a premier regional hub that attracts world-class players to employ a catalytic role in Sri Lanka, encompassing multi-dimensional value creation for the entire country, Nanayakkara said.
A statement from CHEC said this project will become a new centre for international finance, offshore business, trade and logistics, IT, tourism and shopping, creating a novel international and smart lifestyle, establishing a unique landmark for Colombo and Sri Lanka.
Colombo Port City is a key cooperation project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It will create a new city spanning 269 hectares within the Colombo CDB, through land reclaimed from the sea and will attract millions of dollars as investments and create over 80,000 job opportunities. Enditem