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JKH Disclosure regarding development of the West Container Terminal-1 of the Colombo Port

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Seated Left to Right: Mr. Upul Jayatissa - Managing Director, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola - Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Krishan Balendra - Chairman, John Keells Holdings PLC. Standing behind Left to Right: U.D.C Jayalal - Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena - Minister of Ports and Shipping and HE Gopal Baglay - High Commissioner for India in Sri Lanka.

Following is the text of a Disclosure addressed by Deputy Chairman/Group Finance Director of John Keells Holdings PLC Gihan Cooray to Chief Regulatory Officer of the CSE Renuke Wijayawardhena on Sept. 30, 2021.

We write with reference to our disclosure dated 15 March 2021 regarding the JKH investment in the development of the West Container Terminal-1 (WCT-1) in the Port of Colombo, as the local partner of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ).

Pursuant to the receipt of the said LOI on 15 March 2021 from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Colombo West International Terminal (Private) Limited (CWIT), the Project Company, which has been incorporated to undertake this investment has worked towards the criteria to enable the entering into of a Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) Agreement.

We wish to inform you that the BOT Agreement between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Colombo West International Container Terminal (Private) Limited was executed today. The BOT Agreement between the SLPA and CWIT is for a lease period of 35 years.

The WCT-1 is a deep-water terminal with a quay length of 1,400 metres and an alongside depth of 20 metres and has an annual handling capacity of approximately 3.2 million TEUs. CWIT expects to commence construction of the terminal in early CY2022 with phase 1 of the terminal, comprising of a quay length of 600 metres, slated to be operational within a period of approximately 24 months. The remainder of the terminal is expected to be completed within a further period of approximately 24 months.

The total project cost is envisaged to be approximately USD 650 million with a debt to equity mix of approximately 70:30. The JKH equity commitment is estimated to be USD 70 million, which will be infused into CWIT on a staggered basis over the project construction period. JKH will have an equity stake of 34 per cent in CWIT, while APSEZ and the SLPA will hold 51 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. The debt funding for the project has been secured, subject to the closure of the related financing documents which will be completed prior to project commencement.

The development and operation of the WCT-1 has been identified as a Strategic Development Project with the requisite Gazette being issued on 30 July 2021.



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President outlines a bold vision for Sri Lanka tourism at THASL’s 58th AGM

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Addressing the 58th Annual General Meeting of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) held on Monday (27) at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, President Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined a comprehensive strategy to propel the country’s tourism sector to new heights. Focused on surpassing the target of 5 million tourists and redefining traditional approaches, the President’s vision extends to achieving 7.5 million visitors in the coming years. The President emphasized the need for innovative thinking and collaboration within the industry to ensure sustainable growth.

“When I took over the government, I realized that sustainability alone is not sufficient. How are we going to earn foreign exchange? How are we going to have a positive balance of trade? In that, there were many suggestions. But what is the low-hanging fruit? And one of the low-hanging fruits was tourism. Let’s promote tourism fully,” President Wickremesinghe declared.

The President acknowledged the need to move beyond the existing framework and embrace competition to elevate Sri Lanka’s standing in the global tourism market. Drawing parallels with countries like Vietnam, he questioned why they had more tourists despite being in the industry for a shorter period. President Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of increasing the number of tourists to 2.5 million in the upcoming year and subsequently expanding on this figure.

(PMD)

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Free visas for nationals of China, India, Indonesia, Russsia, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan from Monday (27)

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The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration has stated that nationals of China, India, Indonesia, Russsia, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan will be granted free visas from Monday 27-11-2023 to 31-03-2024 as a pilot program to rebuild the tourism industry.

Nationals of the above nominated countries possessing, Diplomatic, Official, Public Affairs, Services and Ordinary Passports are eligible to enjoy a visa free regime under this scheme.

The above mentioned nationals should apply for Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before arriving in Sri Lanka subject to granting / issuing free of charge up to 31-03-2024.

Under this scheme tourists can enjoy a 30 days free visa period and a double entry facility is permitted within 30 days from the date of first arrival in Sri Lanka.

Free ETA under this scheme can be applied up to 31-03-2024.

The free ETA cannot be extended further and is limited only to thirty (30) days. In case the free ETA period of 30 days expires after 31-03-2024, an extension of visa could be applied subject to paying the appropriate fee.

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Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia prioritize economic ties in apparel and tourism sectors

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The Minister of Economy and Planning for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Faisal F. Alibrahim, met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday (27) at the Presidential Secretariat.

During the discussions, Minister Faisal F. Alibrahim emphasized Saudi Arabia’s keen interest in strengthening economic ties with Sri Lanka across various sectors, including apparels and tourism. He elucidated that his government was focused on expanding economic relations within the region and regarded Sri Lanka with significant importance.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe welcomed the Minister’s comments, asserting that Sri Lanka is actively promoting enhanced cooperation in Asia, including West Asia. He further highlighted that the tourism and agriculture sectors were areas open to greater investment, as the country is committed to modernizing these domains.

(PMD)

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