Colombo, Aug 15 (newsin.asia) – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday said it appreciated the steps taken to develop the Hambantota Port as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) as it marks an important step towards the goal of positioning Sri Lanka as a full-service maritime hub nation.
In addition to the much-needed boost to the country’s foreign reserves, the reported scale and size of the investment is expected to generate meaningful FDI in port-related activities, as well as businesses around the port, the CCC said in a statement.
Sri Lanka and China, earlier this month signed an agreement to develop the Port with China investing 1.12 billion US dollars for a 70 percent stake in the Port and Sri Lanka getting a 30 percent stake.
The agreement was signed between China Merchants Port Holdings and Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
Observing that international rating agencies had been quick to highlight the positive effects of the transaction, industry representatives noted further that the consequent economic benefits arising from a growth in industrial activity, would create more employment opportunities in the region and also provide sizable impetus to propel growth in the maritime related services and logistics sectors around the Port of Hambantota.
The Chamber now expects the implementation of the Agreement to be effected in a manner that would serve the best interests of our country.
While recognizing the circumstances in which this PPP deal was required to be finalized, the Chamber urges the Sri Lankan government to ensure that the principle of collective responsibility is respected, so as to inspire confidence in the final decision taken. Sri Lanka needs to enhance its reputation as a business destination that has a credible and predictable investment regime.
“This imperative is challenged when seemingly conflicting sentiments are expressed by responsible government sources,” the CCC said.