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Port City Colombo Special Economic Zone woos investors from UK

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An investor event showcasing the Port City Colombo Special Economic Zone was held at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom on 26 April.

It was organised by the Project Company, CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd., in association with the High Commission and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), in which the Project Company is a Strategic Partner.

High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena pointed out that Sri Lanka has maintained long-standing strong linkages with the United Kingdom particularly in areas such as education, welcoming a diverse group of participants comprising corporate leaders, high net worth individuals and private equity investors. CWEIC Deputy Chair Hugo Swire, highlighted that the Port City offers many prospects for Sri Lanka to significantly benefit from trade and internationalisation, aiding an early recovery from the prevailing economic circumstances in Sri Lanka. He also underlined that many opportunities are available to a broad spectrum of investors as the Port City comes into fruition, given the strategic location, business friendly policies and the outstanding infrastructure that is under development.

The purpose of the event was to create awareness of the Multi-services Special Economic Zone established by the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act No. 11 of 2021 in May 2021.

CHEC Port City Colombo Assistant Managing Director Thulci Aluwihare in his presentation highlighted the numerous business-friendly provisions in the legislation that augments the ease of doing business in Sri Lanka.

While inviting investment to Port City, Aluwihare also elaborated on the opportunity for Port City to collaborate with the Board of Investment (BOI) in an effort to revive the Sri Lankan economy by attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the manufacturing and services sectors. Aluwihare emphasised the need to reinforce Sri Lanka’s commitments towards investor protection in this difficult economic situation and highlighted the relevant legal provisions affording investor protection as per the newly enacted Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act.

He emphasised the need for Port City to be economically ring-fenced to insulate businesses and investors from macro-economic challenges of the domestic economy. It is important to instil Investor confidence and regulations are currently being drafted by the Colombo Port City Economic Commission to assert this position, he said.

Gateway Group Chairman Dr. Harsha Alles, who has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Colombo Port City Economic Commission and CHEC Port City Colombo to facilitate the development of a state-of-the-art international school in Colombo, shed light on the rigorous process followed in this regard, assisted by Oxygy – education advisors in the UK.

He indicated that while many esteemed schools in the UK have expressed interest in setting up Port City, the objective of the investor consortium is to select the institution that offers the most holistic student experience. Alles invited the participating investor community to join the investment consortium pioneering the entry of a renowned UK-based education brand’s entry into South Asia.

As a landmark development project in Sri Lanka, Port City Colombo will continue to invite investment from across the world to augment the economic recovery of Sri Lanka. CHEC Port City Colombo will embark on a series of investor events across the region over the coming months to highlight the investment opportunities on offer.

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