Three investment agreements worth US $ 2.1 billion are due to be signed today in Hambantota concurrent to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) events taking place in the city.
Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana speaking at a media briefing yesterday announced that among the investment agreements due to be signed today is one of the largest foreign direct investments (FDIs) made in Sri Lanka in the recent past, worth US $ 1.3 billion by China Communication Constructions Company.
“They are due to invest in projects of the Port City that would involve the constructions of breakwater systems, seawater tunnels and land development,” the minister stated.
The other two investors due to sign agreements today are Property Alliance Capital (Pvt.) Ltd – an Australia-based company investing US $ 450 million on a mixed project that involves the construction of an international shopping mall, shopping complexes and a condominium complex in Colombo 2 and two Hong Kong-based companies - Avic International Engineering and Nice View Investment Company, investing US $ 250 million on a mixed project based in Colombo 3.
Speaking further, Minister Abeywardana stated that encouraging FDIs is vital to reach the goal of maintaining an 8 percent economic growth in the country.
“Last year we received only US $ 1.2 billion but it has to be increased at least up to US $ 3 billion in order to impact the economic growth in the country,” he said. Meanwhile, Minister Abeywardana, who also commented on the complaint lodged at the police headquarters on Tuesday by UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva against billionaire James Packer, said they are not ready to believe the move was carried out solely due to cultural/patriotism-based reasons.
“It is obvious the Opposition is attempting to tarnish the image of the country and disrupt the enthusiasm among the foreign investors to invest in the country.
If they were genuinely concerned about the country’s image being deteriorated, they could have also raised questions concerning the arrival of the Channel 4 journalists in the country, who have been tarnishing the country’s image.
So, it is obvious that since they are too weak politically to topple the government, they are now attempting to disturb the foreign investments in order to weaken the country’s economy,” he said.
Speaking further the minister said that several foreign investors and businessmen, who are in the country at present attending the Commonwealth Business Forum, expressed their disappointment over the incident. “However, Packer says he will not bow down to before the upcoming challenges and has informed us that his interest to invest in Sri Lanka remains unchanged,” he added.
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