Business Times

Chinese investment zone in troubled waters

By Bandula Sirimanna

Work at the 161-acre dedicated Chinese Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Mirigama has come to a grinding halt due to some disagreements between the Chinese investor entrusted with the task of setting up and managing the zone and the Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI), informed sources said.
The Chinese conglomerate Huichen Investment (Holdings) (Pvt) Ltd is planning to abandon the project due to the failure of the authorities to fulfill their requirements, in accordance with the agreement, a local representative of the company said. The company has already developed infrastructure necessary for the setting up of the Special Economic Zone.

The newly developed SEZ was to have standard buildings, which will enable investors to invest on factories. Internal roads, water and power capacity was to be enhanced in addition to sewerage and other facilities. The newly developed SEZ was also planning to have standard buildings, which will enable investors to invest on factories.

These activities have now been halted, he said. Political analysts said the Chinese engagement at Mirigama is in the wider context of the Sri Lanka Government’s enhanced relationship with China in the post-war era where China is involved in a series of projects including the Hambantota port and airport and the Norochcholai Coal power plant. Concessionary loans from China has also been flowing in since relations between the Government and the West turned sour over human rights issues.

A senior official of the BOI told the Business Times that Huichen Investment Holdings (Pvt) Ltd has made a request from them to set up a tourist resort at the Mirigama SEZ and they are waiting for the approval of the Tourist Board on this proposal. He said that the company has not informed them officially about any plan to abandon the project. However, he noted that the work at the zone has been stopped midway due to the delay in granting approval for the tourist resort project. \

The Chinese investors are looking at developing facilities such as hotels and restaurants. For this purpose, approval of the Tourist Board is necessary. The company’s earlier interests had extended to a wide range of economic sectors and activities such as machinery and equipment, electric motor-cycles, light vehicle assembly, manufacturing buses, ambulances and agricultural machinery but not the tourist resort projects, he added.

According to the development plan, notable construction at the SEZ will include an administrative building, supermarkets, banks and office areas. The Chinese investors are also looking at developing facilities such as hotels and restaurants. Houses for workers will be provided within the industrial block.
The BOI SEZ at Mirigama has a 33 KW power supply from the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). The zone is well equipped including drinking water in keeping with WHO standards.

Good road links to the zone can accommodate heavy vehicles and it has a wastewater treatment plant to cope with sewerage needs. The BOI signed an agreement in June 2009 with Chinese conglomerate Huichen Investment (Holdings) (Pvt) Ltd to set up and manage a dedicated Chinese Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Mirigama.

The Chinese company had agreed to invest US$ 28 million under Phase I and further investments to be made in the next phases.

Twenty-nine Chinese companies had been already identified and they were to commence their enterprises in the SEZ at Mirigama and these industries were generate avenues of direct employment for 200 people.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Business Times Articles
Chinese investment zone in troubled waters
DCSL gets Rs 5.7 bln refund from Govt.
Rajapaksa win at presidential election seen in BT poll as main event in 2010
Probe accuses former MBSL Chairman of abuse of power
Love thy notes : CB
Creativity of the Veddahs
Comment - Wish list for 2011: Ensure proper food policy
Feature - Business Times on the year gone by
SLT to assume full management control of PEO TV
Global competition with $20,000 prize promotes ethics in finance
Fitch maintains 'BBB+(lka)' stable for HDFC
The Finance Company to reinvigorate operations in the New Year
Reefcomber acquires 78 acres in Kalpitiya for Rs. 122.18 mln
Singer Finance IPO draws Rs 54 bln, oversubscribed by 135 times
Diversity in ‘who you are!’
Service sector Gold to Hayleys Advantis
SEA compulsory for Sri Lanka’s development activities
International trade fair in Jaffna on January 21-23
Commercial Bank ATM at Ranaviru Sevana, Ragama
Learning Tamil at the Central Bank
MBSL signs collective agreement before time
Finance Ministry reshuffles senior officials
Rs. 2 bln tele drama content wasted –industry veteran says
Children from Mullaitivu join ‘Go Green’ project of LIOC
ICASL launches Certified Business Accountant qualification
RONA Electricals steps in to reduce electricity bills
ICASL strengthens its position in Sri Lanka
SEC says to extend credit facilities to clients
Union Bank on rails


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution