ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s China-backed Colombo Port City could add 12 billion US dollars to the island’s annual gross domestic product when in full operation and 4.5 billion dollars in initial years, State Minister of Money and Capital Markets, Nivard Cabraal said.
The initial construction of the Port City would bring in 15 billion US dollars which will house a financial centre and other services businesses and residences generating over 200,000 jobs when complete, Minister Cabraal said.
“It would add approximately 4.5 billion USD to the GDP of our country in the first few years, and thereafter at a rate of around 12 billion dollars of additional GDP,” Cabraal told the parliament during a debate on a law to set up a Colombo Port City Commission to run the reclaimed area.
“That would make vast difference to this 80 billion dollar GDP in the country we had in the past.”
“There would be major impetus for conferences, tourism, theme parks and we will have 5.7 million square meters of buildable space.”
The Colombo Port City is billed to be a low tax area and would be dollarized with multiple currencies to protect it from central bank money printing that leads to currency depreciation, capital flight and brain drain.
The Colombo Port City project is expected to generate 200,000 jobs in the construction phase and 83,000 dollar based jobs in the next five years.
“People of our country will be able to work inside the port City and will be able to earn in dollars,” Cabraal said.
“Today they have to go to other parts of the world for dollar based jobs. With this project we will have a gradual improvement in Sri Lanka doing business indicators.”
Cabraal said the Port City Commission Law would cut through red-tape and make it an efficient space to do business competing with other destinations such as Dubai, Singapore or the Schengen area.
Singapore has a modified currency board with an appreciating exchange rate and Dubai a currency-board-like system with high credibility. (Colombo/ May 19/ 2020)