The development of the suspended Colombo City Port project in Sri Lanka will now go ahead, according to the Sri Lankan ambassador to China.
The US$ 1.4 billion development, comprising a 230-hectare complex, with hotels, apartments and office buildings, will be built on landfill near the harbour seafront in Colombo, the country’s largest city.
In 2013, the former Sri Lankan government had reached agreement with the state-owned developer, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), giving them control of 108 hectares of the development, including 20 hectares on a freehold basis and the remainder on a 99-year lease. Sri Lanka was to retain ownership the other 125 hectares.
Following pressure from India and the US, the newly-installed government of Sri Lanka suspended the project early in 2015, citing issues with environmental reports.
Now, following the release of data from a new environmental impact assessment - and in the face of growing national debt – all suspensions have been lifted.
Karunasena Kodituwakku, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China, said, "The project will create employment, create tax income, and create indirect opportunity for other services…everybody will benefit."
Speaking about Colombo City Port in November 2015, China’s Ministry of Commerce said the project as a whole had the capacity to create more than 80,000 jobs.