Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill to reach Parliament

The Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, aimed at setting up a special economic zone in Colombo Port City built by China, is expected to be submitted to Parliament, as the Legal Draftsman has completed the drafting of the bill specifying the provisions for the commission. 

The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by the President this week to publish the bill on the government gazette and submit the same to Parliament. 

The new bill will enable the Port City, including the Colombo Financial City, to operate under a new set of laws, different from the mainland Sri Lanka, with the purpose of facilitating investments into the newly-built zone. 

With the bill turning into a law will provide fast passage of the investments covering myriad of sectors within the zone, bypassing the extremely inefficient legal systems prevalent in the mainland. 

In fact, Sri Lanka’s slow and highly inefficient legal system is often cited as a deterrent for bringing in direct investments and for the country’s extremely low doing business rankings. 

Although not said explicitly, this will be a model for decentralisation of economic and legal activities, albeit under the control of the government at the Centre, akin to Hong Kong and Mainland China. 

The zone built by China Harbour Engineering Corporation is expected to attract as much as US $ 15 billion in direct investments in the medium term.     

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