Lankan cabinet approves biz incentives at Colombo Port City


Spanning 269 hectares of reclaimed land from the sea, the Port City will comprise five precincts including the Financial District…reports Asian Lite News

The Sri Lankan cabinet has approved a proposal by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to grant incentives to businesses with strategic importance that will commence operation at the Colombo Port City, a spokesman said here on Tuesday.

Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told reporters that the Port City is an important part of the island nation’s attempts to attract foreign investment, which is crucial to stabilising and modernizing the economy, reports Xinhua news agency.

Spanning 269 hectares of reclaimed land from the sea, the Port City will comprise five precincts including the Financial District, Central Park Living, Island Living, the Marina and the International Island.

Primary and secondary businesses that are strategically important to the Port City have been identified, according to Gunawardena.

Colombo International Financial City is a special economic zone and International Financial Centre which is currently under construction on reclaimed land adjacent to the Galle Face Green.

The land reclamation work had been completed as of January 2018.

The project is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Debt restructuring

Wickremesinghe had earlier assured that Sri Lanka would be able to complete the ongoing debt restructuring programme by September and bring the economy to a stable level.

The President has said that he took over the bankrupt country and brought its

economy to a stable state by going to the IMF.

“The IMF had imposed tough conditions on us. But we had no other options,” said

Wickremesinghe, who is also the Finance Minister had introduced severe tax hikes and

other hard financial decision to please the IMF.

He urged all Sri Lankans to work towards getting out of bankruptcy.

“In the past, after Sri Lanka was declared a bankrupt country, no investors came to the country. Former investors left the country. In such an environment, foreign investors are not interested in providing aid to Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe added.

Facing the worst-ever economic crisis, Sri Lanka in April 2022 suspended the repayment of foreign debts and requested the IMF to intervene.

The IMF offered a $3 billion conditional bailout package to be paid in parts for four years and the package is also to help reduce Indian Ocean island nation’s debt by $17 billion through restructuring.

Co-chaired by India, Japan and France, and Paris Club creditors, 17 countries have formally formed an official creditor committee to discuss Sri Lanka’s request for a debt treatment.

China, Sri Lanka’s biggest bilateral creditor, stands as an observer.

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