Colombo Port City Project’s Chinese contractor defends record, denies corruption allegationsView(s):
The uproar over the Colombo Port City Project (CPCP) has prompted the Chinese company undertaking the project to deny allegations of their involvement in any corrupt practices. “There is no sound basis for direct and/or indirect allegations made that Chinese companies, in particular CCCC or CHEC, may engage in corrupt practices. Specific legislative initiatives have been taken in China to leave no room for corrupt practices by Chinese companies,” CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd said in a statement.
China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) will undertake the US$ 1.4 billion project which is incorporated as a holding company under the China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) group. The statement by CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd said that the Eighth Amendment to the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, which came into effect on May 1, 2011, specifically tackles the issue of corruption and makes it a crime to make payments to non-PRC government officials and to officials of international public organisations for any illegitimate commercial benefit.
The statement said that, unlike previous projects undertaken by CHEC in Sri Lanka, this newest investment is fully funded by equity from CCCC and funds raised by it, with no funding from the Government of Sri Lanka, or any government guarantees. “This is the single biggest FDI to date for Sri Lanka, valued at US$ 1.4 billion, with a development of 233 hectares of land by reclamation. Of this, 125 hectares will belong to the Government from the date of the project completion. A further 88 hectares will be owned by the Government, but leased to the CCCC on a 99- year lease as part consideration for its investment,” the statement said. The balance 20 hectares of this development will be given to CCCC on a free-hold basis, as a return on their investment.
The statement referred to media reports that speculated that land prices in Colombo may fall after this project is completed. “Similar projects closer to home, such as in Singapore and Dubai, have demonstrated that land values have appreciated across these cities, as development has improved lifestyles.
CHEC said it has been partnering development projects in Sri Lanka for the past 15 years, even before the company became a subsidiary of CCCC, with the Colombo-Matara expressway being one such project.