Colombo, Nov 17 (NIA) – Sri Lanka hopes to attract 8 billion dollars worth of investments from China early next year, under its Southern Development Project, Deputy Foreign Minister, Harsha De Silva said on Thursday.
In a statement, posted on his official Facebook account, De Silva said that the government’s Southern Development Project is expected to be completed in three phases.
Under the first phase, starting in January 2017, he said the government was informed that the Chinese were coming in with investments in an LNG power plant, a refinery, a cement factory and a dockyard totaling a massive 8 billion US dollars.
The initial area of 15 sq km which will be used for the development projects will be around the Hambantota Port.
The Southern Development Project is expected to cover 50 sq km once completed in three phases.
China is one of Sri Lanka’s largest development partners and has completed infrastructure construction projects worth 15.5 billion dollars in the island nation by the end of 2015.
China has direct investments of 409 million dollars in Sri Lanka, which is increasing rapidly.
Meanwhile, a leading European official on Thursday said that Sri Lanka will be a part of Asia’s rapid rise in global influence and power over the next 50 years.
Dr. Patrick Dixon, a globally acclaimed futurist and a growth strategist, addressing a forum at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said that with a highly skilled workforce and strategic location, Sri Lanka had a great future, as part of Asia’s rise in global influence.
Dixon further said that the island’s plans for establishing a Colombo International Financial City will pave way for future economic growth and is a symbol of confidence. He added that he was very upbeat about Sri Lanka’s future and its culture of innovation.