Jan 07, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s proposed Special Economic Zone in Hambantota will attract at least 5 billion US dollars in the coming three to five years, China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang said.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning together with Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang declared open the southern economic development zone in Hambantota.
“I believe this zone will be the most important economic activity for this government and particular for Hambantota people,” Xianliang said.
“If everything is OK, over the next 3 to 5 years I do believe at least 5 billion dollars to be investing in this zone and those projects consists of at least 100,000 jobs for Sri Lanka.”
Chinese Ambassador pledged that Sri Lanka’s law and environmental standards will be complied with thoroughout the whole process.
“All Chinese projects here should strictly follow the environmental impact assessment procedures to fully abide with Sri Lankan and Chinese law as well as international practice.”
“This is not only my promise but also all the Chinese business people. We will respect the decision taken by Sri Lankan government and its people.”
The ambassador said over 50 Chinese business people who contributed to Sri Lanka during the past participated in the ceremony held today, and they would also be potential investors for this Sri Lanka–China industrial zone.
“In the past 50 or 60 years China affords nearly 20 billion US dollars financial assistance including loans, donations to Sri Lanka.”
“Sri Lanka is the number two to get the most support from China in the world.”
Speaking at the event Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said over 11,500 businesses will set up their factories in the zone over time.
He said 95 percent are state lands for this zone and former speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and Minister Sagala Rathnayake will decide on land allocation in Hambantota district.