As construction work begins in the industrial park at the Hambantota Port, efforts are being made to attract Sri Lankan and international investors. A delegation from Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) led by Justin Zhang, General Manager – Port Investment Services, recently visited Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China, Dr. Palitha Kohona in Beijing to discuss the promotion of Chinese investments in Sri Lanka. The visit took place following an online dialog between HIPG and the Ambassador during the ‘Sri Lanka Virtual Investment Forum, held in June 2021.
The HIPG delegation briefed the Ambassador on the progress made in the construction of the park and discussions focussed on the possibility of attracting investment for it from China. They spoke of the latest concept “HIPG speed” introduced in the park, and how several projects had already reached construction stage. The plug and play ‘Park in park’ manufacturing facility to be set up by the Shenzhen Xinji Group within the industrial zone had begun clearing and leveling work just 20 days after the signing of the agreement; The ‘Ceylon Tire Manufacturing Project that was nearing completion of leveling and clearing work; and several new projects to be set up as a direct result of the value addition the Industrial park brings in terms of its proximity to port operations and up and downstream industries, were also discussed.
In their discussions with the Ambassador the HIPG team exchanged views on the industrial research and investment promotion conducted in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, East China, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta region. Johnson Liu, CEO of HIPG says, “HIPG is not only looking at attracting investments into the industrial zone but will support investments under the BOI, for Chinese companies beyond the port’s purview. This would help in positioning HIP as a gateway port for the southern hinterland.”
The delegation requested Ambassador Kohona’s support for their investment promotions in China, as well as his assistance for participating in the upcoming investment promotion activities in the Fujian Province, scheduled for August 2021.In response, the Ambassador confirmed the Sri Lankan Embassy in China was actively promoting investments in Sri Lanka to Chinese industries and expressed his willingness to extend support to the HIPG team for similar promotions in China. In addition to talking to Chinese companies of Hambantota’s potential, the Embassy has also organised a number of well attended events to encourage FDIs from China to Sri Lanka. Discussions concluded with Ambassador Kohona agreeing to collaborate with HIPG in jointly promoting the industrial development of the Hambantota International Port and Sri Lanka.