More foreign investment in Lankan ports
A considerable number of foreign investors, including the Chinese,
have expressed their desire to invest in the ports sector and ports
related development, including that in Colombo and the Hambantota
Mahinda Rajapaksa port, a Ports and Highways Ministry official said.
“In addition to foreign investors, many local entrepreneurs have
already agreed to invest in port related investments”' he said.
One of the foreign investors, China Merchants Holdings International
which is building a deep-water container terminal at the Colombo port,
expressed interest in investing in other Sri Lankan ports,especially in
“The Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa port is geared to support
international and domestic sea cargo transshipment.
‘The harbour will perform its duty as a air-sea cargo transshipping
hub in conjunction with the Mattala International Airport. Moreover, the
harbour will also be an alternative to the Colombo International harbour
which was the only international port prior to the commissioning of the
Magampura Mahinda Rajapkasa port,” the official said.
China Merchants Holding International Managing Director Hu Jianhua
said they are attracted to Sri Lanka because of several key advantages
such as location, low operational cost, enthusiastic and motivated
labour force and so on. Besides, easy access to south Asia and many
other regions, open economy and literate labour force are among its
China Merchants is investing 500 million US dollars to build and
operate a container terminal that will have a capacity of 2.4 million
Managing Director Hu Jianhua told the Southern Asia Ports, Logistics
and Shipping 2012 conference in Colombo that his company intends to use
its investment to modernize the port and improve its competitiveness.
He has said that Sri Lanka's advantages and attractive location on
the main East-West shipping route convinced them to invest in Colombo
and in other Sri Lanka ports.
Many foreign investors have noted that Sri Lanka's advantages make it
a strong contender to be developed as an air-sea cargo transshipment
hub. Considering this situation the Ports and Highways Ministry took
steps to declare the Magampura Mahinda Rajapkasa harbour a free port.