Sri Lanka will auction the first 18 blocks of the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) and Port City by mid next year, Megalopolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said.
He said work is progressing rapidly now and he was confident that the first fully developed 18 blocks will be ready by 2018 August to be internationally tendered for investments for a 99 year lease.
In 2016 the Port City project was added in the Megalopolis plan and the government which planned an International Finance Center in Colombo together with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the CHEC Port City Colombo signed the new agreement in August 12, 2016.
Speaking at function at the Water’s Edge Ranawaka said the delay in the project was due to the fact that the fresh environmental study that was redone after the change of government took 18 months. “But this was necessary for environmental constraints and accordingly several structural changes were done.”
The Minister also said that Sri Lanka today has lost the competitive edge it enjoyed a few years ago in cheap labour and this has now gone to India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. “Due to this we have to look at other alternative areas to generate revenue and the International Financial City is one such venture.”
The Minister said that Megalopolis will also look at utilizing the inland canal transportation in Colombo city and several project plans have being identified and they would be given to the private sector to build and operate. (PPP)
“One of the first projects would be the passenger boat service from Beira Lake to the National Hospital.”
The Minister said they foresee tremendous investments coming from the global banking sector for the proposed financial center as there is no such facility in the region.