The green light has been given to the delayed Colombo Port City project, the Sri Lankan ambassador to China confirmed on Friday.
A financial hub connecting South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East is expected to be set up in the Colombo Port City, said Karunasena Kodituwakku, Sri Lankan ambassador to China in an exclusive interview with China Daily.
The $1.4 billion urban complex project will cover 233 hectares adjoining the Port of Colombo. The deal was initially signed between the Sri Lankan government and the China Communications Construction Co in November 2013.
However, it was suspended by the Sri Lankan government early in 2015 after Maithripala Sirisena became the country's president.
A greater environmental impact assessment to allay public concern was needed, which was "not the fault of the Chinese company", reiterated Kodituwakku, the ambassador.
The "incremental environmental impact" by the project is "minimal/negligible at the reclamation site and the coastal zone to the North and South of the site," said an environmental impact assessment report released by the Sri Lankan authorities in December.
"The project will create employment, create tax income, and create indirect opportunity for other services. ... Everybody will benefit," said the Ambassador.
Colombo Port City will become "a high-end urban complex in South Asia concentrating industries, including finance, tourism, logistics and information technology," and the whole project will create more than 80,000 jobs, said China's Ministry of Commerce in November 2013. (ChinaDaily)