Opportunity Sri Lanka | » Japanese investor to revamp Sri Lanka’s Pettah floating market
Japanese investor to revamp Sri Lanka’s Pettah floating market

Japanese investor to revamp Sri Lanka’s Pettah floating market

Daily FT: A Japanese investor has stepped up to breathe new life into Pettah’s floating market and spearhead the revamp to the iconic landmark underlining Sri Lanka’s position as a premier tourist destination.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project was signed by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) Chairman Nimesh Herath and the Japanese investor Akira Hirose yesterday at UDA in Battaramulla. The total amount invested in the renovation is Rs. 300 million. The local partner is J&S Masters Ltd.
Herath reiterated the commitment to select the most suitable investor to revive the Pettah floating market while ensuring minimal disruption to existing businesses.
The Japanese investor will manage and operate the Pettah floating market under a 30-year lease agreement. The envisioned transformation aims to position the floating market as a Japanese Town and a tourist attraction.
The project, slated for completion within six months, will undergo a comprehensive redevelopment to address issues such as inadequate maintenance, security concerns and declining business activity.
The UDA faced severe criticism over the management of the floating mall and taking heed of these concerns, Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga directed the UDA to explore opportunities for development through public-private partnerships (PPPs), given the current economic challenges in the country.
Minister Ranatunga said the importance of ensuring that existing shop owners are not disadvantaged during the development process.
Originally opened on 25 August 2014, the Pettah floating market was conceptualised under the guidance of former Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. However, under the previous administration, the floating market faced neglect, resulting in deteriorating conditions and dwindling business activity.
Following a complete renovation in accordance with the vision for developing Colombo Fort as a commercial and historical hub, the floating market was reopened on 7 April 2021.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka’s development programme including the urban beautification programme have presented a host of business/investment opportunities. With Sri Lanka on the path to development and becoming a regional hub, the country is focused on the development of infrastructure and supplementary infrastructure facilities required by the country in line with the overall economic expansion to be on par with global developments. Sri Lanka is fast becoming the ideal business destination in the South Asian region supported by the country’s strategic positioning in the Indian Ocean, strong trade ties and incentive schemes presented by the Sri Lankan government for foreign businesses/investors entering the country. All these are indicative of the evolving nature of the country’s development agenda with many multilateral financial institutions pledging funds for some of these projects. Given the growing business potential in the country, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka’s development agenda while also looking at the possibility of engaging in projects through local collaborations.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240408/Z_3

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