Singapore firm to draw up Chinese investment zone plan in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved a proposal for Singapore-based urban planning consultancy Surbana Jurong Pvt Ltd, owned by state investor Temasek Holdings Ltd, to draw up a plan for a Chinese investment zone in the country’s southern port city of Hambantota, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
The move comes after a delay of more than 18 months in starting the Chinese investment zone around Hambantota port, which is on a long-term lease to Chinese state company.
China has invested billions of dollars building ports, roads and power stations in the island nation just off the southern toe of India as part of its Belt and Road Initiative to increase its trade and other connections across Asia and beyond.
But concerns have grown that such investments could drive the country of 21 million people deeper into debt and undermine its sovereignty, prompting greater scrutiny of deals with China.
Residents clashed with police who used tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators protesting against the planned investment zone around Hambantota, when it was launched in January 2017.
The government later said it would look for land in adjoining districts for the 15,000 acre (60.7 square km) zone originally planned, but the deal was delayed by local protests.
Cabinet spokesman Gayantha Karunatileka said “Sri Lanka-China supplies and industries zone” will be established in three stages in Hambantota and the adjoining district of Monaragala.
“It has been proposed simultaneous urban development in Hambantota,” Karunatileka told reporters in Colombo.
An official document showed the government had reduced the size of the zone, managed by the China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), to 12,500 acres (50.6 square km).
It also showed CHEC had already appointed Surbana Jurong to draw up the plans for the first two phases of the zone which will include social infrastructure such as housing and schools.
Surbana Jurong has already completed two master plans for Sri Lankan government.
Chinese debt-financed infrastructure interest in Sri Lanka has made some countries, including India and the United States, concerned due to Sri Lanka’s proximity to shipping lanes through which much of the world’s trade passes en route to China and Japan. The countries also have raised concerns over the possible presence of Chinese military in Sri Lanka.
The Chinese embassy in Colombo has rejected the claims of a military presence on the island.
Sri Lanka’s foreign debt rose nearly 17 percent to 4.72 trillion rupees ($30 billion) last year, a fifth of that coming from loans from China to finance the construction programme.
- Reform momentum must continue despite tentative signs of improvement in Sri Lanka Economy – IMF June 2, 2023
- Government’s objective is to develop Sri Lanka as a thriving nation by 2048 June 2, 2023
- Sri Lankan Rupee appreciates against U.S. Dollar June 1, 2023
- Professionals belonging to 14 categories required to register with Inland Revenue Department from June 01 June 1, 2023
- Bruno Divakara remanded until June 07 June 1, 2023
- Over 9,000 dengue cases reported in Sri Lanka in May, 2023 June 1, 2023
- Sri Lanka unexpectedly cuts rates by 250 bps as inflation eases June 1, 2023
Will A Mahendram be the Singapore Company’s Rep in SL for this Project?
why not the institution of Engineers Sri Lunka
institution of Engineers Sri Lanka? You are joking arn’t you? They even can’t make a “kadala gotta”.
Appreciate comments by Engr MVR Perera and Ranjith.
As a Fellow of IESL and an active member in its affairs, wish to state that the IESL does not have the commercial capability to undertake consultancy assignments.
In fact, the IESL is not supposed to have any commercial capability; the IESL’s constitution does not include such objectives.
you have forgotten that there is national least cost electricity policy electricity policy given by Act No 20 of 2009 in recommending LNG which is 3 times the cost of coal , solar can be established has the biggest fraud in our country’s history the cabinet is also contravening articles 3,4,12,27 and 38(f) of our of our constitution and as such the cabinet approval is null and void and they can be prosecuted for causing losses to we the people and our country when our Judiciary is fit for making decisions against the cabinet First test a solar panel without grid connection and check whether there is any reading of the energy meter connected to a one Kw load and then ask the CEB Engineers , PUCSL , ADB and the cabinet of ministers the reasons they are attempting to bankrupt our country by preventing coal fueled BOT projects as base load and economical Hydro with large reservoirs as peaking power which will give we the people and our country the least cost electricity in the world This is a prema facie case of corruption by the parties concerned