India, China to get SEZs in Sri Lanka to set up industries
The Dollar Business Bureau
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will be allotted to India and China for establishing industries in Sri Lanka, Malik Samarawickrama, Sri Lankan Minister of International Trade and Strategic Development said on Tuesday.
“Indians will be setting up pharmaceutical and auto parts industries in their zone. The Chinese have asked for 55 sq km (15,000 acres) of land in the Hambantota area in the Southern Province for their zone, and we are in the process of acquiring the land. When developed, this area will generate one million jobs,” Samarawickrama told journalists in Colombo.
The location for the SEZ to be allotted to India is still to be finalised.
A delegation from India will be visiting the country next week to start discussions on the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) framework. After that, a delegation from China is expected to be in the island nation for negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The FTA between China and Sri Lanka is expected to be signed next year.
Sri Lankan Minister further stated that one of the key goals to be achieved through foreign investments is to acquire skills and new technologies.
The minister asserted that the ETCA, proposed with India, will not cause an invasion of Indian professionals into Sri Lanka, resulting in job losses to Sri Lankans.
“Sri Lankan government will not permit the foreign professionals to enter the country excluding in some specific cases, as it is now in purview of the rules of Board of Investment,” he mentioned.
Samarawickrama further said it is for first time in Sri Lanka’s history that the government is taking consultation from all the chambers of commerce and groups of professional on the given trade and investment agreement.