In The Press

Port City SEZ laws ready by year end


Laws leading to the creation of the Special Economic Zone leading to the International Financial Centre within the Port City project will be ready before end 2020, which is expected to bring in 60% of Sri Lanka’s GDP.

The draft is already ready and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a three member Cabinet Sub Committee to review the draft and it will be sent to Parliament after the elections and that should be well prior to the end of 2020. This is outside the laws governing the Board of Investment (BOI), CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd Head of Strategy Thuci Aluwihare told Daily News Finance yesterday.

(CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Colombo Communication Construction Ltd)

He said that the approval of the Special Economic Zone was of priority so that Sri Lanka could proceed with the promotion and marketing of the Colombo Port City with the aim of luring investment. He also said that the formation of a coherent policy framework was also important to go ahead with the project.

Sri Lanka is placed at 99th position out of 180 countries in the Global Index on Ease of Doing Business and with the approval of the Special Economic Zone, Sri Lanka should move a few slots higher, he said.

One of the key advantages of having the Special Economic Zone will see that it will create new vistas for the establishment of a new International Financial Centre where a large number of global companies are likely to establish their regional quarters here.

Meanwhile, China Harbour Engineering Ltd’s planned investment of an additional US $ 1 billion will be phased out in two stages and is expected to be completed in eight years. This will be to lure more local and foreign investors for the Port City and this is a first step, he said. The first phase will cover US $ 400 million and will be the first four years and the second phase will cover the second four years. Phase 1 will cover three towers for three office buildings, two residential towers and a retail Podium which would take 6.8 hectares out of a total of 269 hectares which are available under the entire project.

There will be 178 hectares which are available for development and the construction of offices and hotels, residences and international schools as well.