Colombo, July 3 (newsin.asia) – A deal to lease Sri Lanka’s southern Hambantota harbour to a Chinese firm will have economy wide benefits, helping boost foreign exchange reserves and relieving pressure on the rupee, Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said, quoted in an EconomyNext report said here Monday.
The Minister said an agreement with China Merchants Port Holdings to run the Hambantota port should be ready soon with a solution acceptable to both parties being reached after several rounds of talks.
“The importance of these talks is that it will be one of the largest FDIs (foreign direct investments),” Samarasinghe said.
“It is of paramount importance to get them, so we can build international reserves and use it to stabilise the rupee, control cost of living,” Samarasingha added.
The Minister added the project will also have a ‘demonstration effect’ as this kind of mega investment will prompt other investors to look at Sri Lanka seriously.
“And there’ll be downstream projects planned – there will also be investment that will come in to the industrial park we agreed to set up, jobs will be created, the region will be developed.”