China expects to invest US$ 5 billion in Hambantota industrial zone

China expects to invest US$ 5 billion in Hambantota industrial zone

January 7, 2017   02:14 pm

- By Yusuf Ariff

China expects to invest US$ 5 billion in the Hambantota industrial zone in the next 3-5 years, creating 100,000 jobs in the country, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang said.

He was speaking during the opening ceremony for the industrial zone near the port city of Hambantota on Saturday (7).

The government has signed a framework agreement for a 99-year lease of the Hambantota port with a company in which China will have 80-percent ownership. Officials also plan to set up the nearby industrial zone where Chinese companies will be invited to set up factories. 

We remember the assistance from Sri Lankan people and the government so that’s why any force negative or some other cannot stop the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka, assistance from China to Sri Lanka, he said.

“Of course no force can stop the friendship between our two countries and the two peoples.” 

He stated that Sri Lanka is a most friendly country for China and that is why the island nation is a “priority” for the Chinese investments. Whatever the changes or the government, the ambassador said he believes the Sri Lankan people and the Sri Lankan government will welcome the Chinese investment. 

“I do believe this zone will be the most important economic activity for this government, for this country particularly for the Hambantota people.” 

“In the next 3-5 years, if everything is okay, I do believe at least 5 billion dollars is to be invested in this zone. Those projects can create at least 100,000 jobs in Sri Lanka,” Mr Xianliang said.

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