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Industrial Development Board establishes Smart Facilitation Centre at Hambantota Intl. Port

The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) entered into a sublease agreement with the Industrial Development Board (IDB), to establish a smart Facilitation Centre at the Hambantota Maritime Center (HMC).  The new center will smoothen the path for foreign investors focused on establishing projects in the Southern Province. 

The agreement was signed by Johnson Liu, CEO, HIPG and Upasena Dissanayake, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board (IDB) in the presence of Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Industries, at a ceremony held on 3rd December at 10.00 am.

The Facilitation Center will provide investors with the support they need in finding suitable real estate and fast tracking required approvals via other government institutions. This will be an added advantage for all potential investors interested in investing in HIP and the Hambantota district, as the new IDB Facilitation Center coupled with the already established BOI-One-Stop-Service Center at HMC will create an investment friendly environment.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Industry Wimal Weerawansa said, “Many people now have different opinions about China, and whatever they say, we know that most of the investments that China has made are investments that help us generate dollar revenues, not investments that take our dollars out of the country. Our country receives dollar revenue from the Colombo Port City. We also collect dollars in taxes. The Hambantota Port once it establishes as a full-service port will bring in foreign exchange to our country. We need projects that can earn dollars. We decided on a Facilitation Centre in proximity to the port to fast track services for export oriented industries.” The Minister thanked HIPG CEO Johnson Liu and the HIP team for their support in providing the premises and other facilities in setting up the Center. 

“This move by the IDB is very positive for the port as well as the Southern region, given that the expansion and development of the Hambantota International Port is directly connected to the development of the southern region and in turn the Sri Lankan economy. Therefore, it is not just the port’s industrial zone that we are looking at but all the other industrial zones outside the port which will use HIP to import raw materials and export finished products. HIPG’s port investment services team is also promoting Sri Lanka internationally, showcasing what the country has to offer. We are confident that soon we will have a vibrant mix of light industries in Hambantota and adjacent districts that manufacture goods for both domestic and international markets,” says Johnson Liu, CEO of HIPG.

Tissa Wickramasinghe, COO of HIPG says, “Part of the success of the development of industries in the south of Sri Lanka and creating an export market for it depends on the efficiency of the port. And in this sector we have been constantly breaking our own records and raising the bar in terms of productivity and facilities we provide. Our recent ISO certification, which is an achievement for a port in the whole of South Asia, endorses our efficient systems and processes. Year by year, we will continue to build on our systems, helping to bolster the confidence of all who use the port.” 

Hambantota Maritime Center is the port’s administrative building. It currently has tenants from different sectors, including the BOI. Most are from the Logistics and Commercial sectors while others include Travel Agents, Communication, Banking, Shipping, Government Institutes, Oil and Bunkering, Marine Services, Ship Building and Repairing, Engineering services, Manufacturing and Construction.

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