China boosts investment in Sri Lankan mega-project
Posted on January 2nd, 2018

Courtesy MAIL ON LINE

Pumps dredge sand to reclaim land at the site of a Chinese-funded $1.4 billion reclamation project in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 5, 2017, a deal that preceded a new $1 billion investment in three 60-storey buildings near the country’s main port

China will invest $1 billion in the construction of three 60-storey buildings at a mega-project near Sri Lanka’s main port, Colombo said Tuesday, as Beijing aims to boost its influence in the Indian Ocean.

Pumps dredge sand to reclaim land at the site of a Chinese-funded $1.4 billion reclamation project in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 5, 2017, a deal that preceded a new $1 billion investment in three 60-storey buildings near the country's main port

The deal follows an earlier Chinese investment of $1.4 billion to carry out reclamation work for the wider Colombo International Financial City development, strategically located next to Sri Lanka’s harbour, the only deep sea container port in the region.

The countries hope the project, initiated by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, will create a financial centre in the Indian Ocean comparable with those in Singapore and Europe, drawing billions in foreign investment and thousands of jobs.

Sri Lankan officials said 60 percent of the 269 hectare (672 acre) reclamation, due to finish next year complete with yacht marina, had already been completed.

No completion date was given for the buildings, the first for the development.

“China Harbour (company) will put in $1 billion to build three buildings,” Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Minister Champika Ranawaka told reporters in the capital.

“These three 60-storey buildings will be able to attract more foreign companies into Sri Lanka.”

The controversial project was formally launched after a visit to Colombo by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014 but work was suspended by the new administration, which came to power in January the following year.

It resumed after the state-owned Ch

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