Port Pursuit

Dec 14, 2011 (LBO) – An Indian conglomerate is keen to acquire a stake in ports in Sri Lanka given its location and growth potential, an investment advisor from PricewaterhouseCoopers India told an investor forum in Colombo. Rapid infrastructure modernisation will be critical to achieve high levels of economic growth, he told the forum.

Much of the required investment in infrastructure will have to come from private sector investors, he said.

“Sri Lanka has a strategic location on the main shipping route and logistics chain,” Agrawal said.

“There is a fair bit of government investment and ODA (overseas development assistance) investment already going into some ports. But there will still be opportunities for investment by the private sector in terminals.”

Agrawal also said the big infrastructure investments need not necessarily come from existing large players, noting how Indian companies with no previous involvement in the sector had invested in India infrastructure and grown.

“A lot of investment actually came from domestic investors who have nothing do to with infrastructure. They had seen the opportunity and taken the risk.”

Anand Dikshit of PWC India said Sri Lanka’s l