Port City Colombo, Sri Lanka’s brand-new reclaimed land, slated as the ‘Gateway to South Asia’ said yesterday it is now officially the country’s first service-oriented Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
The Sri Lankan Parliament yesterday adopted a powerful Bill enabling a giant step in Port City Colombo becoming a pivotal global financial and services hub for South Asia.
The act provides a stable policy environment; backed by efficient administrative processes coupled with globally competitive incentives.
CHEC Port City Colombo, the project company’s Managing Director Jiang Houliang welcomed the timely and strategic decision taken by the Sri Lankan Government in enacting the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill.
The project company has expressed confidence in the said bill and believes that its enactment will provide the required progressive policy environment and ease of doing business to ensure Port City Colombo will truly be the envisaged catalyst in driving much needed FDIs and promoting export of services.
The project company invites local and foreign investors to connect with the company’s marketing team and explore the unique investment opportunities now available at Port City Colombo and to be a part of South Asia’s city of the future.
As per the new law, Port City Colombo will be an international business and multi-services SEZ with operations in any recognised foreign currency. Experts say that Port City Colombo SEZ will fill the gap between Dubai and Singapore, to be the most sought-after hub with modern infrastructure in place.
Late last year, CHEC and Sri Lanka’s Browns Investment signed a $ 1 billion joint venture for Port City Colombo’s first vertical development project – the Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC).
Port City Colombo Director – Sales and Marketing Yamuna Jayaratne said: “Sri Lanka already enjoys a 70 to 80% advantage in the cost of doing business in comparison with established and mature services hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai.”
“The enactment of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill will serve to further enhance this cost advantage; but more importantly serve to address investor pain points such as efficient and timely dispute resolution and administrative efficiency in terms of approvals etc. This improved ease of doing business; coupled with cost advantages, geographic location and the quality of life on offer in Sri Lanka would serve as a first step in creating a compelling value proposition for investors,” Jayaratne said.
“The state-of-the-art future-ready infrastructure built on sustainable principles within Port City Colombo surrounded by the natural beauty that Sri Lanka has to offer provides an enviable physical setting required to compete with any world class modern metropolitan city. Therefore, we are very confident that Port City Colombo will be a catalyst for FDIs into the country,” she added.
On the side-line to the SEZ law enactment, Port City Colombo launched its awareness campaign ‘Loku Ratak’ locally and is also planning its global launch campaign within the year. However, plans remain fluid due to the global COVID pandemic.