Sri Lanka revives US$1.5bn Trinco heavy industry deal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is re-evaluating a plan for a 1.5 billion US dollar heavy industrial zone near the island’s Trincomallee harbour in the north east coast, State Minister for International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe said.

An 800 acre land concession given to Sri Lanka Gateway Industries Plc to build an industrial zone to draw investors to Sampur in Trincomallee was scrapped by President Maithripala, amid charges from Tamil legislators who demanded that the land be used to re-settle people displaced by the war.

South Asia Gateway Industries had claimed that it that several Korean firms were interested and there was also Korean state backing for the investors.

Senasinghe said there were questions about the way the land was awarded and the President had cancelled the land award. The original proposal did not have finalized investment projects at the time, he said.

"We have told them to give us a complete proposal with a car company like Kia or Hyundai and with about four or five industries firmed up for us to consider," he said.

"It is a valuable location near the harbhour and it can be effectively used by industries to service Africa."

Minister Senasinghe said if concerns about the people and re-settlement are addressed and there are firm investments projects, Sri Lanka would be prepared to build the necessary infrastructure for the investment zone.

"If the investment is good for the country we are prepared to provide the necessary facilities," he said.

He said there was opportunities to draw a steel and sheet metal factory to the location.

He said the proposal had been referred to an economic committee of the government which was evaluating it. (Colombo/Dec16/2015)

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