Sri Lankan government to conclude deal to lease Mattala International Airport to India this year
The government of Sri Lanka is reportedly looking at concluding the deal to lease the Mattala International Airport to India.
The airport was built with Chinese aid during the previous administration and the move to lease the facility, which is now rarely used, is expected to be concluded by August this year.
A local English newspaper has quoted Minister of International Trade and Development Malik Samarawickrema as saying that a joint venture will be set up between Indian and Sri Lankan authorities to lease the airport.
Sri Lanka is offering Mattala to India as a counterbalance to Hambantota port which has been leased to China for 99-years.
According to reports, Mattala is expected to be leased to India for 40 years.
The leasing of the Mattala International Airport to India for a 40 year period would see the now hardly used airport of international standards churning back to operation. The Indian interest in the airport located in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka would increase India’s business presence in the island nation. This in turn would create new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka while also making it easier for cross border trade between the two countries.
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