Special zone for China in Sri Lanka
First time ever Sri Lanka had set up a specific area for foreign companies, and China's Huichen gets it.
Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment, said it signed a deal with China's Huichen Investment to manage a special economic zone dedicated to Chinese investors.
"This is the first time the government has given a foreign country a specific area to develop and attract foreign investments into the country," Investment Promotions Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said.
Huichen Investment Holdings Limited of China was given the Mirigama zone, some 55 kilometers northeast of Colombo for a period of 33-years to allow companies from the country to operate in the zone.
The zone is 161 acres. Huichen is expected to spend $28 Million US, and already 29 Chinese firms expressed interest in investing.
Huichen will invest 28 million dollars in the zone in Mirigama, north of the capital Colombo, to improve infrastructure in the first phase over three years, investment promotion minister Anura Yapa told a news conference.
Huichen president Huang Yu Ping said they had identified 29 Chinese firms, mostly in machinery manufacture, keen on investing in the zone.
The BOI said the zone of 161 acres, meant mainly for light manufacturing, IT and business process outsourcing, will provide employment for skilled youth in the region.
We are yet to see reactions of western countries specifically USA and Regional power India regarding recent growth on China's influence in Sri Lanka.
It should be noted, India had earlier expressed it concern regarding influence of international players in Sri Lanka.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Indian parliament last October: “Surely we would not like to have the playground of international players at our backyard.”
And, USA military stationed at Diego Garcia, an island located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) south of the southern coast of India.