In The Press

China-built Sri Lanka ‘Port City’ aims to lure Indian investors


ECONOMYNEXT – A ‘Port City’ reclamation project funded by China next to Sri Lanka’s Colombo port to build a financial centre aims to attract investors from the region, especially Indians and expatriates based in India, an official said.

“The project is targeted towards the region,” said Liang Thow Ming, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd., a unit of China Habour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC).

He noted that the residential, commercial and retail space the Port City project creates will be several orders of magnitude more than existing facilities, in Sri Lanka and abroad, which was what investors were looking for.

The commercial facilities will be much bigger than that in Canary Wharf in London.

“The next part is to attract investments into the Port City – foreign direct investment and domestic investments - which depends on the country’s economic policy,” Thow Ming said.

“We are infrastructure developers – that’s what we can produce. If you consider what we can produce is a glass, then how fill the glass with water depends on the country policies.”

The Colombo Port City financial centre was well located to serve the Indian market, Thow Ming said.

Right now there were no similar facilities in South Asia while Singapore served south east Asia and Dubai west Asia.

The five states in southern India is a huge market.

“Indians are parking money in Dubai while 35 percent of money parked in Mauritius comes from India,” Thow Ming said.

“Why can’t we have a share of that market. I have been here for four yea and I’ve spoken to people, including expatriate staff in India.

“They said they will relocate to Colombo if they have the opportunity,” Thow Ming said. “The companies they work for do not see adequate commercial infrastructure here.