International road shows to promote Port City | Sunday Observer

International road shows to promote Port City

The Colombo Port City after the completion of land reclamation.
The Colombo Port City after the completion of land reclamation.

Several promotional events such as road shows to position the Colombo Port City (CPC) project among investors will be held in Europe and Asia this year following the first global launch of the project at the ‘World Cities Summit 2020’ in Singapore in July, said Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

He said that while he was in London to promote investments for the project, many investors showed keen interest in the port city project and added that getting the first few investments will be a difficult task but, thereafter, many would follow.

The Government has embarked on a vigorous campaign to fast-track investments to the CPC to achieve its target.

CHEC Port City Colombo, the CPC project company will carry out the global launch of the CPC in Singapore in July and thereafter in key regions within the year.

CHEC Port City inked agreements with over 200 potential investors from India, Middle East, South East Asia and China.

Reclamation of around 269 hectares of land was completed early last year. The construction of a yacht marina and a US$ 400 million mixed development project are expected to begin this year.

The CPC will contribute over US$ 11 billion to the economy annually when completed it is said.

A task force has been set up to facilitate single-window investments while improving online investments to the project.

The construction of the CPC now named the Colombo International Financial City was set to commence in 2011. However, due to several reasons, work on the project was stalled and then resumed in 2014. The budget for the project was estimated to be around US$ 1.5 billion.

Pathfinder Foundation Executive Director Luxman Siriwardena said the smart city accompanied with Artificial Intelligence and driverless cars will not only be a key driver of the economy expected to grow over six percent in the coming years but also be a model for others to emulate.

“The project will attract high end secondary investors into commercial establishments, hospitals, schools and universities, banks and financial centres which will help take the country to the next level of development,” he said, adding that Sri Lanka needs to adopt advanced technology for businesses, industries, banks and retailers to be competitive as Singapore, Hongkong and Dubai.

He said a single project of this nature alone cannot drive economic growth but certainly would spur growth through FDI, exchange of technological knowhow and skilled workers.

However, he said an investment friendly climate cannot be created without a legal, regulatory and physical framework, critical to lure in investors.

Efficiency in delivery, timely decision making, and policy consistency are critical to attract FDIs.

“We expect once elections are over there would be stability restored and steps will be taken to put the legal, regulatory and physical framework in place for any development project to take off,” Siriwardena said.

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