South Asia

Sri Lanka starts talks with Chinese investors on Hambantota project

Sri Lanka has started talks with Chinese investors on the $10 billion Hambantota Economic Project to be implemented in the southern region of the island nation.

The project would encompass the establishment of oil refineries, a power generation plant and industrial zones, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Four projects — the Kandy Mega Development, Wayamba (North-Western) Industrial and Tourist Development Project, Western Megapolis and the Southern Tourist and Industrial Project — will be implemented by the government in 15 years.

The Prime Minister, while addressing an event in Singapore recently, said the projects would form part of a bigger programme. The Kandy–Colombo–Hambantota Corridor, he said, would “reshape the country’s urban landscape with two airports and two seaports.”

Megapolis project

Estimated to cost $40 billion, the Megapolis project is aimed at developing the Western Province as a megapolis on a global scale. It would have an expected population of 8.5 million by 2025 with Colombo as a business and financial hub to attract foreign investors.

Modernisation of the Colombo Port and further expansion of the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake had also been planned. The Colombo Port City, which would be a financial city essentially, would be set up by reclaiming 269 hectares of land from the sea. Mr. Wickremesinghe said that there was the “vacuum for a financial city” along the trading route between Singapore and Dubai.

The country’s third port would be developed in Trincomalee of the Eastern Province. The government had entered into agreements with Singapore’s leading consultancy firm, Surbana Jurong Private Limited, to prepare a master plan for Trincomalee based on shipping, manufacturing and tourism.

The area of 175 km to the south of Trincomalee would also be developed as high-end tourist resorts, the Prime Minister said. He said the plan was to put in place infrastructure for high-value tourism and the further develop the hilly region. The government plans to open eastern beaches and implement offshore projects such as yachting and cruises — stretching from uninhabited small islands in the Northern Province to the historic Galle city in the South.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 8:32:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/Sri-Lanka-starts-talks-with-Chinese-investors-on-Hambantota-project/article14506212.ece

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