Sri Lankan Investment Zones & Ports Becoming Strategically Important

Aug. 5 – The redevelopment of Sri Lanka as a production, processing and export manufacturing destination is continuing following the end of its recent war. As evidence of this progress, the Suriyawewa Investment Promotion Zone (SIPZ) is to be built at Hambantota Port in the island’s southeast area, and is expected to attract over US$400 million in FDI over the coming years.

The SIPZ project, covering 430 hectares, will include hi-tech, IT, education and tourism facilities along with designated residential and shopping areas. Two additional investment promotion zones will be set up within the complex. The SIPZ is sited close to the main new international airport and main port in Hambantota, both of which have recently been opened.

In addition to this, the main Colombo Port has been undergoing a massive redevelopment with Chinese financial assistance. Costing US$500 million, the Colombo International Container Terminal opened today, mid-way between the lucrative east-west sea routes, with facilities on par with those of Dubai and Singapore.

This development means that India can now send cargo to nearby Colombo rather than to Singapore if needing mega-ships heading West, effectively saving four days shipping time. About 50 percent of all global sea traffic passes through this route, and a presence half way along that from China to Europe provides significant advantages. In terms of TEU capacity, the port can now handle 6.4 million containers, up from 1.6 million, and will make Sri Lanka a key stop-over for international carriers.

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