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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Port city is part of the growth story of Asia – State Minister Nivard Cabraal

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State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal says that the Colombo Port City, the Hambantota Port and other new development projects will be key factors in taking Sri Lanka forward over the next few years.

He said that the Port City could have been established anywhere in Sri Lanka’s coastal belt, and that however it was decided that the Port City would be placed in Colombo because that is where “the greatest amount of reach” could be achieved.

“That is where the greatest amount of support could be provided to the country’s economy by having a new area developed in order to highlight the potential of Sri Lanka to the world.”

“We have done that. That part is now history. The land has been reclaimed, 269 hectares, the law has been passed, it was passed in parliament a few days ago. The infrastructure is now taking shape.”

“We need to now see that there is a steady inflow of investment that will come in to this area so that it can give a boost to the GDP of our country, the state minister said.

He made this observation while addressing the ‘Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021’ organized by the Board of Investment, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and Colombo Stock Exchange.

The State Minister of Money, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms stated that once completed the port city would help Sri Lanka benefit by at least a new GDP contribution of around USD 4.5 billion that will support the country’s USD 80 billion economy, in the first few years.

He stated that over a period of time, maybe in the next 5-6 years, it could generate as much as USD 15 billion into Sri Lanka’s GDP. “That’s what the analysts have told us.”

“If we can get that right, you would see Sri Lanka’s macro fundamentals changing rapidly as well as in a manner that would be very, very significant.”

“So, I see the port city, the Hambantota port as well as the new developments we are talking about as being key factors in taking Sri Lanka forward over the next few years.”

He stated that they have an obligation and a very great desire to make that happen. “It won’t just happen unless we really work on that.”

The former Central Bank governor said that he believes, in the next few years, the Port City would provide massive opportunities of employment, investment and showcasing Sri Lanka to the world.

“That would need the support of all who are involved in the Sri Lankan story,” he said, while urging investors both local and foreign to take a hold of this opportunity as they would see tremendous value generated for them.

The state minister also rejected allegations that the port city is only for investors from a particular country and assured that they would welcome investors from anywhere in the world with open arms to be a part of this ‘great story’.

“There was a fallacy that it was only for the investors of a particular country. I want to here and now dispel that myth that it is not so. We are inviting investors from all over the world. Wherever in the world you are today, please come look at the potential of the port city, be a part of the port city.”

“It is part of the growth story of Asia that we don’t want you to miss,” he said.

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