Sri Lanka to form joint venture with India to operate the Mattala Airport
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that Sri Lanka will enter into a joint venture with India to operate the country’s second international airport in Mattala.
This announcement comes at a time when a Chinese firm is to commence operations at the nearby port, Hambantota Port.
“Though Sri Lanka built an airport in Mattala with loans, no aircraft came,” Wickremesinghe has reportedly said at a youth forum in nearby Weerawila.
“In a few months an Indian company will form a joint venture with Sri Lanka. It is India as a nearby country that can bring the largest volume of tourists to this airport.”
The Premier has explained that at the moment profits made from Katunayake airport was being used to pay off loans in Mattala and profits in Colombo Port was being used to pay off loan in Hambantota.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has said China Merchant Holdings has formed a company to operate Hambantota port, which will now repay the loans.
He has further said that the first payment is due in December and the second in January.
According to Wickremesinghe, the port and industrial zone will have a dockyard, a liquefied natural gas power plant, a refinery and a cement factory.
The move will provide opportunities for investors in several sectors. The active operation of the airport once the joint venture is finalized would result in the requirement for accommodation and other facilities around the airport as well as a duty free complex that would provide a shopping area for travelers. Therefore, investment opportunities would be up for grabs in Mattala in the near future.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/10112017/Z_1|