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US Blacklisting Hasn’t Affected Port City – Head of Strategy

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USA blacklisting 24 Chinese Companies hasn’t affected the Colombo Port City project, stated CHEC Port City Colombo (PVT) LTD Head of Strategy & Business Development Thulci Aluwihare.

Last week, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted 24 Chinese companies claiming their role in supporting the Chinese military construct and militarising the disputed artificial islands in the South China Sea.

“China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is the parent company for China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC). USA has blacklisted only few subsidiaries of CCCC, those involved in dredging and construction in the South China Sea. USA hasn’t blacklisted all subsidiaries. However, as Sri Lanka is located at a strategic position of Belt and road Initiative (BRI), and Colombo Port City being a very important commercial development of the BRI, rising trade war tensions between USA and China is a serious concern to be monitored,” claimed Aluwihare.

Head of Strategy notes that Strategic Development Project Act (SDPA) is very important to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to developing countries like Sri Lanka. With the tax concessions granted under the SDPA, the project company has committed US$ 1 billion commitment for a mixed development project involving commercial, residential and retail spaces, notes Aluwihare.

The mixed development project is to be implemented in two phases, US$ 400 million for the first phase and US$ 600 million for the second phase.

He further noted that despite the fact that many investors weren’t able to come and visit the Colombo port City site, there is renewed interest for the 13 Request for Proposal (RFP) which was launched in the website for 20 Ha land. There is lots of interest for Marina too. These developments reflect good investor confidence in the project.

Meanwhile Tokyo based newspaper ‘The Nikkei’ reports that the Philippines Government has announced that it will go ahead with infrastructure projects backed by Chinese companies that have been blacklisted by the US.

CCCC Dredging Group, one of the companies on whom sanctions have been imposed, is teaming up with MacroAsia, controlled by Philippine billionaire Lucio Tan, for a $10 billion Sangley airport project in the province of Cavite.

"All projects involving Chinese companies that are banned in the United States can continue in the Philippines, We are not a vassal state of any foreign power and we will pursue our national interest," stated Philippines President Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque.

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