Sri Lanka – Analysts: suggest Port City Colombo bears no benefit to country

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Location: Colombo – Sri Lanka
Language: Sinhala
Duration: 00:07:24
Source: A24
Restrictions: A24 Subscribers
Dateline: 04-02-2022

Storyline:


The newly built land reclamation Port City Colombo is becoming a major city. It includes an offshore
international financial center, residential areas and facilities for luxury yachts. The new city is expected
to house about 80,000 people and will provide tax relief to those who invest and do business there. The
Port City project was officially unveiled in 2014, a year after China started the implementation of the
Belt and Road Initiative. Out of the 178 hectares where buildings can be constructed, 116 hectares have
been given to the project company on a 99 year lease basis. The remaining 62 hectares are owned by
the government. Port City investors have access to long-term tax breaks. Having such large tax breaks
does not improve Sri Lanka’s overall income. Agith gihan, a political analyst, said the country does not
generate profit from sales tax and tourism in the Port City, emphasizing that Sri Lanka is not reaping
benefits from the Project.” The U.S. has warned that a loose business environment could be a haven for
money launderers. In 2017, the port was handed over to foreign companies due to the difficulty in
repaying loans, raising the risk of losing the Port City of Colombo to foreign companies in the long run.

Shots list:

(Soundbite) Agith gihan, a political analyst:
“As we all know, China has seized our country’s domestic resources and thereby made us stuck in debt.
In such an environment, they are building a new Port City of Colombo. We really need to think about the
consequences for our country from this Port City.”

(Soundbite) Agith gihan, a political analyst:
“Our country does not get the income of the sale of goods and the tourism industry done in the Port
City. All those things belong to China. Then our country will not get any benefit from the Port City. At the
same time, there has been a seizure of our resources. Who should be responsible for the impact created
by this on our country?”

(Soundbite) Gayan pranando, a political analyst:
“Roads in our country were being built using Chinese aid. At present a large number of expressways
have been constructed. But there is no foreign exchange in the country to import the fuel required to
drive vehicles on those roads. Some say to use bicycles.”

(Soundbite) Bernard pernando, a trade union leader
“The poor people of the country have not received any relief from this Port City. This will bring relief to
the Chinese. They are the ones who get the benefits. Today, Chinese people are often seen in these
areas. It is doubtful that not only Colombo but the whole country will become a Chinese colony in 10
years.”

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