Sri Lanka signed a $989 million loan with China’s Exim Bank on Friday to build a highway linking the centre of the Indian Ocean island to a Chinese-built seaport in the south, the Finance Ministry said.
The loan, for a highway from the port of Hambantota to a planned industrial zone in the central region of Kandy, was the single-largest approved by the Exim bank for Sri Lanka, the Finance Ministry said.
“Strengthening financial cooperation in the field of infrastructure development, the Export-Import Bank of China has agreed to provide a concessional loan amounting to $989 million,” it added.
Sri Lankan Finance Ministry official R.H.S. Samaratunga and China’s Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan signed the agreement in Colombo.
The agreement, signed after four years of negotiations, is part of China’s latest push in Sri Lanka.