Sri Lanka’s Micro Cars joins consortium of investors to invest US$ 300 million in buses and LRT project
Micro Cars Sri Lanka together with a consortium of investors from Europe, Korea and China are to invest US$ 300 million in building state-of-the-art city buses, luxury coaches and to also get involved in light railway transit (LRT) project.
Chairman Micro Cars, Dr. Lawrence Perera has reportedly said that these vehicles would be environmentally friendly and built to EU standards and will open a new chapter in public transport. “We will invest another additional USD 200 million for the second phase of this project.”
According to local media reports, back in 2004 Micro Cars Ltd designed the concept of Lanka Econo Rail to be manufactured in Sri Lanka at a very economical cost which was approved by the Cabinet in 2004 but could not be taken forward due to bureaucracy.
“I want to get involved in this Light Railway project again as I see a better political condition in Sri Lanka and will invest with the foreign consortium in the Light Rail project,” Dr. Perera has been quoted as saying.
Accordingly, the locally built new buses will be equipped with Euro IV Environment friendly engines, ABS. Brakes, Air Suspension, Air Conditioning, Emission reduction technology, incorporation of smart technology Industry 4.0, GPS and automatic fare collection system, E ticketing system to ensure comfort, safety courtesy and promptness of service, most importantly durability will be the key focus with low maintenance costs and minimize downtime thus increasing operator profitability and in return providing efficient service to the commuters and end users.
Meanwhile, Higer Bus Company Korea Regional Manger, Tom Qain has reportedly said that they hope to export some of the locally made buses to the African region as well. “We plan to build 200 buses in the first year of operation in Sri Lanka.”
The proposed plan is to also include the building of new or expand a chain of cluster industries, such as automotive component manufacturing, increase volumes of tyres, battery, electrical cables, paints, rubber products and a whole lot of other small and medium industries currently operating in the country by barely managing small volumes with age old technology.
The latest project undertaken by a Sri Lankan company together with a consortium of foreign investors is indicative of the growing business/investment opportunities in the country. The government of Sri Lanka is engaged in an aggressive development programme that covers all key economic sectors. This has resulted in the expansion of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Also, Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the ease of doing business environment in the country and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it an attractive business destination in the South Asian region.
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