Sri Lanka creates economic zone for Chinese investors

June 30, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment, said it signed a deal with China’s Huichen Investment to manage a special economic zone dedicated to Chinese investors. Industries earmarked for the zone include manufacture of machinery and equipment, electric motorcycles, buses, ambulances and agricultural machinery, and light vehicle assembly.

Yapa said the advantage of the zone was that it is 40 kilometres from the island’s international airport at Katunayake and 55 km from the main port in Colombo.

The Chinese firm will build roads, supermarkets, and offices for banks as well as hotels and restaurants. It will also provide worker housing within the zone. Huichen will invest 28 million dollars in the zone in Mirigama, north of the capital Colombo, to improve infrastructure in the first phase over three years, investment promotion minister Anura Yapa told a news conference.

The company, a conglomerate that specialises in infrastructure development and does coal and iron ore mining, will also market the zone and attract Chinese investors.

Huichen president Huang Yu Ping said they had identified 29 Chinese firms, mostly in machinery manufacture, keen