REUTERS: Sri Lanka is preparing legislation with tax incentives to attract investment into a big property development near the Colombo port that includes a US $ 1.4 billion Chinese-backed real estate project, a government minister said yesterday.
The development includes Port City, a project by China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), started late last year as part of Beijing’s ambitious plans to create a modern-day ‘Silk Road’ across Asia.
Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said the laws to be formulated by the year-end will “facilitate administrative entity and ease taxation for investors” in the Colombo Financial City Project that encompasses Port City.
“It will be a separately governed entity,” Ranawaka said during a government-organised tour of Port City.
He said legislation is needed as the area involves reclaimed land that the government wants developed as an international financial city, targeting global companies.
“We will relax taxation for those who are parking money here. We should have our own competitive advantage,” the minister said.
Nihal Fernando, Project Director for the government in the Port City development, said half of the total 269-hectare (665-acre) has been reclaimed. The rest is expected to be completed by June 2019.
CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt.) Ltd, the Sri Lankan company that handles the project for the Chinese firm CCCC, aims to deliver the first site for construction by end-2018.
For the overall project, Sri Lanka anticipates an eventual US $ 13 billion of investment in housing, marinas, health facilities, schools and other developments over the next 30 years, Ranawaka said.
The project is expected to create over 83,000 jobs.
The new land is being built from the sea in the commercial heart of the capital, adjacent to the main port and Galle Face Green park.