Port City looks to kickstart SL’s economy, Benefits can start when regulations finalized

Designed to be a hub for international investment, trade, finance, entertainment, leisure and other services, Port City Colombo will not be able to operate in isolation.

Instead, it will create huge new demand for local products, utilities and services, helping to kickstart the wider Sri Lankan economy.

It will also create masses of new jobs, having already created 8,000 jobs during construction, and an expected 83,000 additional jobs to come; both highly-skilled and less-skilled jobs, paid in foreign currency, which will help to stop Sri Lanka’s brain drain.

These benefits can begin to support Sri Lanka’s economic recovery as soon as the final regulations are published. However, delays in this process are
presently holding back progress at Port City Colombo.

Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2022, held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on the 5th and 6th of December 2022, Thulci Aluwihare, Deputy Managing Director at CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Limited said, “We’re unable to execute our marketing strategies and proceed with other matters of logistics and outreach until the regulatory framework, as provided for by the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act, is finalized and published by the Government of Sri Lanka. We cannot
make any official representations to any parties until this is completed, and until there is clarity over regulations related to taxation. If these matters aren’t finalized soon, it may send the wrong signals to
investors and cause them to become hesitant, which will impede the progress of development, which at present is proceeding exceedingly well.”

With infrastructure development slated for completion by Q3 of 2023, Port City Colombo is Sri Lanka’s biggest FDI-funded development project with USD 1.4 Bn committed by the project company, USD 1.
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2 Bn already having been invested, and a further USD 1.5 billion expected to flow in during the vertical development phase, which will commence thereafter.

A USD 7-million Duty-Free Shopping Mall, the first of its kind in South Asia, and a magnet for shopping and tourism, is also expected to open doors at Port City Colombo in April 2023.

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