Sri Lanka clears Indian investment at Colombo Port terminal
This comes nearly a month after it scrapped the trilateral deal with India and Japan to develop the Colombo Port's Eastern Container Terminal
Sri Lanka on Tuesday has notified that it will develop the West Container Terminal at the Colombo Port along with India and Japan.
According to a document issued by the Sri Lanka’s Department of Government Information on February 1, the cabinet approved to develop the West Container Terminal of the Colombo South Port as a Public-Private Limited Company in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and parties nominated by the Indian government as well as the Japanese government.
Further, it said that the cabinet had granted approval to appointing a Cabinet-Appointed Negotiations Committee and a Project Committee to evaluate the proposals in this regard.
The Sri Lankan cabinet further said the Build, Operate and Transfer plan approved by the Negotiations Committee have been forwarded to the High Commission of India and the Embassy of Japan requesting them to nominate investors.
The proposal presented by India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ Consortium) was approved by the Indian High Commissioner and the Japanese Government is yet to name an investor it added.
Accordingly, the Sri Lankan Cabinet approved the proposal to develop WCT on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis for a period of 35 years as a public-private partnership.
Last month, Sri Lanka had scrapped the trilateral deal with India and Japan to develop the Colombo Port's Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) as the Indian firm involved in the project refused to agree to its new terms.
"We entered talks from a favourable position to us, then that company refused to go ahead with our conditions," Sri Lankan Ports Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena had said.
India, Japan and Sri Lanka had inked an agreement in 2019 on development of the terminal project. Both countries had expressed dissatisfaction after the Sri Lankan government’s decision to scrap the deal.