By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Top Chinese investors on exploratory visit to Sri Lanka has given an assurance that they will come back with their investments for further developing many fields including tourism and hospitality industry, gem and jewellery, agriculture, medicine, food processing, renewable energy and entertainment industry.
This large group of Chinese entrepreneurs called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to discuss possible investments in many spheres recently.
The Prime Minister said there is vast potential for investments in many fields including tourism and hospitality industry, gem and jewellery, agriculture, medicine, food processing, renewable energy and entertainment industry.
Daguowen Culture Co., Chairman Zhang Qihua said he is dealing with international cultural exchange, global sustainable development promotion and Sri Lanka has potential to attract more than million tourists from China.
He said he would work closely with Connaissance De Ceylon Chairman Chandra Wickremasinghe to jointly promote Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka.
Zhejiang Outstanding Women’s Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Jin Mei Yang expressed willingness to assist women empowerment programmes in Sri Lanka.
Wuxin Group Chairwoman Xie Yueyu,a medical research group working on collaboration between human liver cells and gemstones for human health said she was interested in setting up a branch in Sri Lanka to assist cancer cure.
Over the decade starting 2005-2015, China has emerged as the leading source of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Sri Lanka–$14 billion. Most of it is ODA in loans and grants–$12 billion in sectors like energy, infrastructure and services. There is private Chinese investment too–$2 billion and growing.
China’s flagship projects are the Hambantota Port Development and the Colombo Port Project, both supported by loans and located at strategic points on the global sea trade route. Much of the infrastructure project funding comes through Chinese government companies.
For example, the $1.3 billion Norochcholai Coal Power Plant is being built by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, and Hambantota’s $1 billion in loans comes from the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and Sino-Hydro Corp, both of which are building the port. Large projects like these make it easier for Beijing to draw Sri Lanka into its 21st Century Maritime Silk Road project, all part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.
There is significant Chinese private money too, largely from Hong Kong, This capitalises on Sri Lanka’s cheap and productive labour as also the island nation’s coveted access to the South Asian, EU and American markets.
The prominent investors are mostly Hong Kong billionaires, including Lai Weixuan’s AVIC International Hotels Lanka which is investing $250 million in luxury housing in Colombo, Robert Kuok’s Shangri-La Hotels Lanka which has $16 million in a five-star hotel in Colombo, and Li Ka-Shing’s Hutchison Telecommunication which is spending $20 million on improving its already large mobile network in Sri Lanka.