Inside Logistics

Sri Lanka establishes special economic zone

Public private partnership will allow for foreign ownership and eased trade regulations in port city of Colombo


June 2, 2021
by

A special economic zone is being established in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

It will facilitate international trade by making foreign ownership possible, along with easing of trade regulations. These include single window facilitation, a streamlined arbitration mechanism and globally benchmarked incentives.

The zone will be built on 269 hectares of newly reclaimed land in the heart of the Colombo Business District. Legislation has cleared the way for the creation of an International Business and Multi Services hub for South Asia called the Port City Colombo.

Slated as the ‘Gateway to South Asia‘, the project is a public-private partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and project company CHEC Port City Colombo. Port City Colombo is situated alongside the Port of Colombo, which is ranked as the World’s 18th best connected port, and will include commercial, residential and retail spaces.

The Colombo International Financial Centre Phase 1, which is the first building being developed, is scheduled to break ground in June 2021 and will comprise state-of-the-art business infrastructure with a commitment to international green building standards.

All registered entities can enjoy foreign ownership with the opportunity to benefit from relaxed exchange control regulations within the zone.

“Port City will enjoy a cost advantage of nearly 80 percent compared with regional hubs such as Singapore and Dubai,” said Yamuna Jayaratne, director sales and marketing for Port City Colombo.

“Coupled with cost advantages, geographic location and the quality of life on offer in Sri Lanka, this would serve as a first step in creating a compelling value proposition for investors. Port City Colombo provides an enviable physical setting required to compete with any world class modern metropolitan city.”

CHEC Colombo Port City is seeking investors from around the world.