Sri Lanka making progress on final deal for US$1.4bn China Port City: Minister

ECONOMYENXT – Sri Lanka is making progress on talks to reach an agreement on a 1.4 billion US dollar sea reclamation project with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe making an official visit to China in April, a minister said.

Sri Lanka suspended the sea reclamation project in 2015 after a new administration came to office in January. The project was started on an interim deal with a formal concession agreement to be signed later.

State Minister for International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe said progress was being made on resolving outstanding issues.

This month Sri Lanka lifted the suspension and extended the interim agreement for another six months, pending the signing of a final deal.

CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the project company said it was a "positive step in moving forward" and to a "mutually beneficial solution."

The firm said the "suspension and the lengthy process taken to resume work have resulted in significant losses" to both the and Sri Lanka.

Senasinghe said compensation had been brought up and there was also talk on downsizing the projects, but the issues are expected to be resolved.

Sri Lanka however had a declared a policy of not giving reclaimed land freehold he said.

International Trade Minister Malik Saramarawickreme had also said there were talks on forming a joint venture company to run the project.

After the 1.4 billion US dollar reclamation, up to 20 billion US dollars of investments are expected to come to the company. (Colombo/Mar20/2016)

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