People in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo have praised the 1.4 billion-U.S.-dollar port city project which is funded by China on the Indian Ocean island.
“As the general public, we believe the port city construction project will promote our country’s economy, create jobs and bring a lot of vital interests, so we support the port city project,” Sunil Gunawaredena, who is working in a food company, told Xinhua during a visit to the construction site of the port city. At the request of Sri Lanka-China Journalists Association, the port city project, invested by China Communications Construction Group, was opened to the local population, causing widespread interest.
In two days, a total of about 10,000 people and nearly 1,000 vehicles visited the port city project construction site.Gunawaredena said his family has strong ties to China as he and his wife are engaged in the Chinese clothing trade between China’s southern city of Guangzhou and Colombo. They also have a grocery store.
Speaking of the vital interests of the local population, including mutually beneficial cooperation in recent years, Gunawaredena said a large number of Chinese loans and investment projects have played a major role in the post-war reconstruction and social development of Sri Lanka’s economy.All of these have been seen and will be remembered by the people of Sri Lanka,” he said.A local logistics company executive, Siripala Wickrama, had the same opinion.”The strategic location of Colombo is unparalleled, but we lost a lot of opportunities because of the civil war in the past, and now we finally have a good opportunity again,” he said, adding that the port city, among other projects invested in by Chinese firms, will bring more opportunities to cooperate with foreign companies.
“I believe there will be a lot of Sri Lankans living abroad who ‘d like to return home, to create value for our country. We are also looking forward to working in the port city in the future,” said Wickrama. Dilith Karunaratne, an experienced journalist working for a subsidiary of Sri Lanka’s Wijeya Newspaper Group, said, “if you want to rapidly develop an economy, without a doubt the best partner is China.”
Compared with other countries’ projects that have not even started despite being signed around the same period, Chinese construction projects are exemplary both in terms of speed and quality. Colombo Port City will bring tremendous potential for development; build Colombo into a world-class city. It is a window for nation-building,” he added.
Managing Director at the China Harbor Engineering Company Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd., Jiang Houliang, told reporters that the port city of Colombo is a large-scale integrated urban development project developed by China Communications Construction Group and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.The project is undertaken by China Harbor Engineering Company.The 1.4 billion U.S. dollar project will create a new district with integrated business, commercial, residential and leisure facilities.