On Paper

June 23, 2006 (LBO) – Malaysia will build Sri Lanka’s Colombo-Kandy Highway, with an agreement for a feasibility study signed by the two sides this week, the government said Friday. The two countries met this week for the inaugural session of the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Joint Commission on bilateral relations, investments and trade.

“At the conclusion of the Joint Commission Meeting, the Sri Lankan and Malaysian sides signed a supplemental Memorandum of Understanding on building an expressway between Colombo and Kandy on a build, operate and transfer basis,” the government said in a statement.

The Colombo-Kandy highway is to start from Kadawatha and terminate at Katugastota. The 98 kilometre, 4 lane expressway is expected to be operated as a toll road.

Construction costs for the new highway are believed to be over 30 billion rupees.

Each day up to 15,000 vehicles are estimated to travel on the existing overcrowded Colombo-Kandy road. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka also called on Malaysian investors to invest in high sea fishing and aquaculture as well as port development and power projects using biomass.