Cabinet approves USD 4 bn S’pore investment in Sampur

By Mario Andree

The Cabinet has approved a mega USD 4 billion Industrial Park in Sampur, Trincomalee by Singapore based Gateway Group, to be submitted to Parliament tomorrow, by Minister of Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, for debate.

The mega project, which would be completed in three phases, within seven years, would facilitate heavy industries, mainly from Singapore and would self-facilitate infrastructure and other requirements for operations without the government having to provide them.

Singapore based Gateway group has been awarded 818 acres of land in the area to develop and the company would invest more than USD 700 million within the first two years, followed by USD 1.3 billion, which would develop infrastructure, education and other facilities to support the industries. That would be followed by a further USD 2 billion capital infusion coming from industries to be set up there.

The project approval has been questioned by the Opposition, on moral grounds and the procedure followed to grant Singapore’s Gateway the 818-acre land on a 50-year lease agreement, according to Minister Abeywardena. He said that he would be sub mitting the cabinet paper to parliament tomorrow for debate.

He said it was one of the main steps for promoting foreign direct investment and the government had further identified several other areas earmarked for development which would be announced later this year.

Minister Abywardena, addressing the media in Trincomalee, said that the project would take off soon and enhance the development of the eastern province, particularly Trincomalee. He said that the government was aiming to capture another mega scale project for the Northern Province as well.

Highlighting the opportunities in the area, he said Trincomalee was the second highest contributor to the national economy since the war ended in 2009 and it had a great potential.

He said the tourism zone in Passikuda, which was located in close proximity to Trincomalee, had made progress and was nearing completion. Ten of the 14 hotels had been completed so far, as well as the infrastructure.

Commenting on the economic benefits to accrue from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, scheduled to be held in November, the minister said that the BoI was working hard to showcase opportunities and hold one-to-one business meetings to promote investment.

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