"The agreement will be finalised and inked shortly. The British Government is also pleased to have been able to support the Sangupiddy Bridge project," Ranking said during talks with Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce
Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd, a subsidiary of the Saudi owned Al-Rushaid Group of Companies, is a global leader in technology based Engineering, Construction and Steel Fabrication Services. Cleveland Bridge, which is of Sydney Harbour Bridge fame, is also the firm behind such large scale projects as London’s Canary
Wharf, M74 Motorway bridges, Jiangyin Yangtze River Bridge (China), Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, and Britain’s Wembley National Stadium. Cleveland Bridge will build steel bridges of 6-30 metre lengths around the country. The Sangupiddy Bridge connects Jaffna peninsula with the rest of the island at Pooneryn was opened in January 2011, and was built by another British engineering firm, Mabey & Johnson of the UK (presently Mabey Bridge Ltd).
"And our trade relations too are now stronger," Rankin said.
"Sri Lanka’s Ease of Doing Business is highest in the South Asian region. So are the literacy and IT skills here. Therefore, Sri Lanka is a good investment destination for British firms, including IT firms. The London Stock Exchange (by acquiring Millennium IT), and Aopena, the British firm specialising in monetising cloud computing, have already ventured into Sri Lanka."
Revealing UK’s increasing investment interest in Sri Lanka, he said: "We also want to enhance UK’s diaspora investments in Sri Lanka. I have already formed a three man team in the Colombo High Commission for (more) British investment facilitation to Sri Lanka. I also strongly feel that it would help international investors, including the British, if Sri Lanka gives a longer period of notice with regard to the international tenders for projects announced in Sri Lanka. Also, we wish to see a one stop shop operation by Sri Lanka for our investors so that it will help better engagement with regard to our Sri Lankan investments."