Opportunity Sri Lanka | » Upcoming university and IT park in Kankesanthurai to unleash northern potential
Upcoming university and IT park in Kankesanthurai to unleash northern potential

Upcoming university and IT park in Kankesanthurai to unleash northern potential

Daily FT: In the effort to revolutionize the northern region, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) is on the precipice of unleashing the immense potential of Kankesanturai (KKS), Jaffna, through an ambitious project – a future-ready university and information technology (IT) park.
UDA Chairman Nimesh Herath said this transformative initiative, born from collaboration between the UDA, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), and Magic Woods Group, has the power to alter the academic landscape, create economic opportunities, and shape the future.
Herath initiates the discussion by elaborating the history of the subject site. Construction of the Presidential Palace Project at Kankesanturai, Jaffna was initiated by the Government during the period of 2010-2015. The construction had been done by the Sri Lanka Navy and total estimated project cost was Rs. 2,000 million (approx.) and it was funded by the Government. The land extends to 12.0 Ha. Situated having 180-degree panoramic view to the Indian Ocean and the KKS harbor, Palali International Airport, KKS Railway station are situated close proximity to the site having easy access by all modes of public transport. The project comprises around 111,000 sq. ft. including conference hall, VIP accommodation, staff accommodation, dining area with all amenities with large landscaping area and car parking facilities. Around 70% of the project has been completed. However, after 2015, the construction was suspended due to non-availability of funds. Since then, the project has been under the supervision of the Sri Lanka Navy.
Subsequently, the proposed land was identified by the UDA for development of recreational and educational purposes under the Town Development Plan prepared for the Kankesanthurai area. Considering the growing demand for tourism and higher educational institutions within the Jaffna peninsula it was proposed to use the building complex for hospitality and education sector development with required alterations in order to enhance tourism and higher education of the Northern Province giving special attention to the younger generation.
In line with the vision of the Government to attract foreign direct investment, especially for the northern region, the proposal submitted by the Sri Lanka Institute of the Information Technology (SLIIT) jointly with Canadian investor has been carefully evaluated by the UDA under the directive of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the guidance of Minister of Urban Development and Housing Prasanna Ranathunga.
The project will be funded jointly by the said two investors and 50% of the funds will be received as foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to the investment proposal submitted by the investor total investment is $ 50 million and out of that $ 25 million will be provided as the foreign direct investment. According to the project proposal, fixing of existing buildings on the premises will be incorporated with the University Master Plan. In addition to that, the investor is willing to harness the potential of the tourist activities associated with the higher education activities.
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has approved Northern Uni Ltd., and this company will be the developer of the proposed project. The university partner of the proposed project is the SLIIT has already been approved under the University Grant Commission and Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka.
Under phase I of the project, it is proposed to implement the project within the area of 12 acres of land which includes 80% of the fully and partly completed buildings within the premises. The current market value of the building complex is approx. Rs. 3,500 million and the investor has proposed to invest a sum of Rs. 2,500 million for refurbishment and alterations for the proposed buildings to utilize for the purpose of university functions including new constructions. In addition to that substantial investment will be made for office equipment and laboratory facilities of the university and the development of luxury hotels in star class.
The proposed university will consist of modern university facilities, integrated IT park infrastructure, start-up incubator/accelerator, marker labs/research facilities, students and staff accommodation and a luxury hotel. After full completion of the proposed project, it will be able to provide modern state-of-the-art world-class education facilities while accommodating approximately 10,000 students from both local and international.

OSL take:
ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors in Sri Lanka is a fast-growing business/investment opportunity in the country. With the government of Sri Lanka focused on transforming the country in to an e-economy in line with the plan on developing the country into an emerging business destination in the South Asian region, there’s a growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. The private and public sectors in Sri Lanka are also looking at digitalization and developing network connectivity for quick and increased productivity as part of developing the ease of doing business environment in the country. Also, the growth and profits recorded by local businesses engaged in the ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors are a clear indication of the growing business potential in these sectors. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore the expanding business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20231102/Z_2

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