- Govt. forecasts rising cargo levels will enable transportation, including ports, to make up 40% of GDP by 2020
The Board of Investment (BOI) yesterday signed an agreement with Colombo International Container Terminals to develop and operate the Colombo South Container Terminal.
The project is an investment of US$ 500 million funded by the Hong Kong-based China Merchants Holding (International) Company Limited, Aitken Spence PLC and (SLPA) with equity partnership of 55%, 30% and 15% respectively. The project is expected to provide direct employment opportunities for over 1,000 and will be implemented over two phases.
|From left: Aitken Spence CEO J.M.S. Brito, China Merchants Holdings Deputy Managing Director Nelson Liu, BOI Director General Eshana de Silva, SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama and BOI Board Member Anura Jayasinghe at the signing|
Director General Eshana de Silva signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to the investors. BOI Board Member Anura Jayasinghe and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama were also present at the occasion.
China Merchants Holdings (International) Deputy Managing Director Nelson Liu and Aitken Spence PLC CEO J.M.S. Brito signed the agreement on behalf of Colombo International Container Terminals Limited.
“The development of the Colombo South Harbour is being implemented under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision of making Sri Lanka a shipping hub in the Asian region. The agreement for one of the largest Foreign Direct Investments will strengthen Colombo’s status as the premier shipping hub of South Asia into the 21st century. Construction of the container terminal will commence in December this year,” the statement issued by the BOI said.
Colombo’s existing terminals currently account for the island’s entire cargo volume. The government forecasts rising cargo levels will enable transportation, including ports, to make up 40 percent of gross domestic product by 2020. Deeper berths, new terminals and increased efficiency will enable larger ships to dock and transfer cargo more quickly, enabling Colombo to maintain its status as a premier shipping hub.
With the implementation of this container terminal development project, Sri Lanka will gain economic benefits such as increased container handling capacity of the port, accommodation for the latest generation of large container ships, guarantee fast turnaround of vessels and training of Sri Lankan staff on latest technology. This will also increase the inflow of foreign exchange to the country from container services.
The BOI has granted Strategic Development status to the project, working in close collaboration with the SLPA.