Hambantota International Port Group signs MoU with BOI

Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) have recently signed a cooperative ‘Shared User Services’ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

China Merchants Port Holdings in Sri Lanka Chief Representative and HIPG CEO Johnson Liu and BOI Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala signed the Strategic Cooperation Agreement at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo. Minister of Youth & Sports, Minister of Development Coordination and Monitoring and the State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development Namal Rajapaksa was present as a witness.

Under the MOU, both the BOI and HIPG will work closely together to provide joint communications to promote FDI opportunities in Hambantota that include the industrial Park, conduct market research to identify suitable projects to site at Hambantota, which includes the Port Industrial Park. HIPG will in turn provide port operation services for investment projects established in BOI Export Processing Zones, and for BOI to facilitate comprehensive and functional single window facilities on investor support services for HIPG projects.  

Minister Rajapaksa congratulated BOI and HIPG on the successful signing of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement, going on to state: “The development of industrial and export-oriented enterprise is an important step for economic prosperity. The Hambantota International Port being declared as one of the country’s free ports will be an added advantage for international shipping lines and port industries which will accelerate Sri Lanka’s position as an international shipping and commercial hub in South Asia.” 

BOI Chairman Mohottala said: “Collaboratively presenting Sri Lanka’s unique investment opportunity is strategically significant for the country, as investors will benefit from experiencing holistic value propositions communicated through a co-created approach between our two entities. Additionally, with breakthroughs in port throughput, park entry projects and project constructions accomplished by the Hambantota Port, this MOU will positively impact and further enhance ease of doing business for BOI enterprises, who can avail themselves of these shared service facilities at the HIPG. We also believe that potential investors who will commission commercial operations in BOI’s newly dedicated pharmaceutical zone situated in proximity to the Hambantota Port will also benefit through this, and we look forward to working closely with HIPG to enhance possibilities for both current and future investors.”

HIPG CEO Liu expressed his appreciation of the Sri Lankan Government for the cooperation and support given to HIPG. Pointing to the friendly cooperation between China Merchants and BOI, which began as early as 2011, with the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) and continued with the Hambantota International Port Project, he said: “As an international multi-purpose port and park project, HIPG is committed to providing high-quality and efficient services for vessels plying the East-West main shipping lanes. Under the new cooperation framework, ‘Shared User Services,’ HIPG will extend port resources, wharf facilities, park resources and the port’s Master Plan offers practical business and logistics support for the development of enterprises in the Southern Province, where enterprises would have ease of importing and exporting their goods. HIP will also facilitate upstream logistical and support services for potential investors to the industrial park within the port.”

The CEO added that to date, HIPG’s Port Industrial Park has attracted more than 30 global enterprises, ranging from the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, China, Maldives and other countries.  “I have no doubt this will increase much more with the joint efforts of both HIPG and BOI, as we together promote and attract high-quality global projects to set up in Hambantota.”

Amongst the dignitaries present at the signing ceremony were HIPG Chief Operating Officer Tissa Wickramasinghe, HIPG Chief Financial Officer Raymond Mu, HIPG Senior General Manager of Port Investment Services and General Affairs Department Tim Xiao and HIPG Senior Manager of Port Investment Services Sabrina Edirisinghe.

The new cooperation agreement will allow BOI to facilitate a comprehensive and functional single window for investor support services for HIPG projects, which will vastly benefit investors.

Source – Daily FT (15 Nov 21)