‘Port City Colombo SEZ project has attracted USD 1.3 billion FDI since inception’
Since its inception, the Port City Colombo SEZ project had attracted USD 1.3 billion in foreign direct investment without imposing any liability or cost on the Sri Lankan government, COO, Colombo Port City Economic Commission Revan Wickramasuriya said.
A press release said in this connection: ‘Port City Colombo (PCC), the ground-breaking infrastructure project aimed at reshaping Sri Lanka’s economic landscape, celebrated a momentous milestone as its infrastructure development phase nears completion and commercialization is set to begin. The occasion was marked by a moment of unity with a multi-religious ceremony, invoking blessings on the nation and the project’s success. The Sales Gallery of Port City Colombo was adorned with a commemorative plaque, symbolizing the project’s progress and transformative impact, with the theme, “Bridging Boundaries, Limitless Possibilities”.
‘Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana – Speaker of the Parliament, Ministers and Members of Parliament, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Members of the Monetary Board, Secretary to the Ministry of Investment Promotions, ambassadors and representatives from foreign missions in Sri Lanka were among the dignitaries gracing the occassion, highlighting the collaborative efforts and unwavering commitment of all stakeholders involved in this pivotal economic and infrastructure development initiative.
“The 269 hectares of reclaimed land is 100% owned by the government of Sri Lanka and has already contributed approximately USD 3 to 4 billion to the GDP, creating over 12,000 direct jobs and providing training for more than 4,000 Sri Lankan workers across over 20 Sri Lankan sub-contractors”, emphasized Revan Wickramasuriya, Chief Operating Officer of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission.
‘Looking ahead, the next phase of the Colombo Port City, the Construction Stage, is about to commence and is expected to attract over USD 14 billion of investment. This phase will result in approximately USD 4.1 billion in locally sourced labour and materials, generating over 450,000 employment opportunities, of which over 400,000 will be for Sri Lankans. The estimated contribution to GDP from the Construction Stage alone is projected to reach USD 24 billion.
‘Once fully operational, Port City Colombo, as the country’s single largest development and foreign direct investment to date, is poised to contribute USD 13.8 billion annually to Sri Lanka’s GDP, offering over 140,000 direct employment opportunities.
In his concluding remarks, Wickramasuriya affirmed that Port City Colombo is ready for business as the region’s first multi-currency, export of services Special Economic Zone, with the Colombo Port City Economic Commission acting as its single-window investment facilitator. This framework ensures a conducive operating environment and streamlined business procedures for both local and foreign investors.
‘Port City Colombo represents a visionary endeavour with ambitious objectives to foster global investments, spur innovation, and create new employment opportunities, ultimately enhancing Sri Lanka’s competitiveness on the international stage. Situated strategically along the Western Coastline and neighbouring the heart of Colombo, PCC encompasses a sprawling 269-hectare area of reclaimed land, featuring a pristine waterfront and meticulously planned urban spaces. The ongoing construction progress exemplifies the project’s momentum, and upon completion, Port
‘City Colombo will present a vibrant fusion of residential, commercial, and recreational zones, catering to the diverse needs of residents and visitors.
‘The recent plaque unveiling ceremony signifies a significant juncture in PCC’s evolution, marking its emergence as a hub that celebrates progress and promises a transformative impact for Sri Lanka. PCC aspires to become a world-class business and lifestyle destination, leveraging its strategic location, extensive land area, and state-of-the-art infrastructure. By attracting global investments and fostering economic diversification, Port City Colombo is poised to redefine Sri Lanka.’
Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System
The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.
Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.
“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.
Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.
Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.
Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.
‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.
‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.
Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.
‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.
‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’
Share market moves into positive territory; indices up
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.
Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.
The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.
Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.
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