Colombo International Financial City to be transformed into “Visionary City”
In January 2017 the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) decided totransform the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) to a “Visionary City” creating a conducive environment for 10 high-end service industries to function.
A group of reputed international consultants comprised of the former chairman Merrill Lynch Europe Ltd, the current chairman of UK Finance, representatives of 300 leading financial service companies including British Bankers Association, top officials of Dubai International Financial Corporation and the Qatar Financial Centre had been engaged in looking at strategy and policy studies with regard to this initiative. Also, the World Bank is assisting in conceptualising the regulatory framework and risk management for the project.
According to the Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development, Harsha de Silvafinancial services, professionals, entrepreneurs, innovations, Fintech companies, and service-related businesses will all be accommodated at the CIFC which will be transformed into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for services, with be real estate, yacht marinas, retail, world class universities and proper health care, etc.
Hard infrastructure such as construction of buildings, transporting sand other functions connected to construction work at the CIFC will be handled by the Ministry of Megapolis and the UDA.
De Silva who is the chairman of the project’s steering committee has been tasked with soft infrastructure which includes the law, taxes, regulations, strategies, marketing and promoting the right type of businesses at the SEZ and has already established working groups on policy, legal and regulations, international relations and marketing, etc.
Recently Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe received the draft CIFC Law based on common-law practices that requires no Constitutional amendment and the strategy of the CIFC.
According to de Silva the draft law is 100% Sri Lankan founded on common law principles through “cherry picking best practices”.
He also divulged that when the draft was finalised, “Request for Proposals” will be called from UK- based law firms to evaluate the draft and the chosen firm will be involved in drafting rules and regulations of the CIFC in accordance with Sri Lanka’s common law in line with the Constitution.
269 hectares of reclaimed land beside Colombo’s central business district has been earmarked for the CHEC Port City Colombo with SOM (Skidmore Owings & Merrill) having designed the master plan for the ]finance and marina district.
In July 2017, the PM revealed that the financial city will function as a special jurisdiction area with its own economic and commercial laws to facilitate operations of global multinational corporations and grow as a business and financial hub.
Transformation of the CIFC to a Visionary City that provides technologicaladvanced and innovative facilities in addition to a contemporary legislative framework will encourage foreign service-providers to enter Sri Lanka with fewer concerns.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/12092017/Z_2|