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Sri Lanka, Chinese company to go ahead with southern port deal

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-06 11:25

COLOMBO - The Sri Lankan government said on Thursday that it will sign three crucial agreements with a Chinese company over the Hambantota Port in the southern part of this country before the end of the month.

Sri Lankan International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema told reporters that the first agreement will be signed after January 7 with China Merchants Holdings Ltd who will be getting an 80 percent stake in the Hambantota Port.

The three agreements that are expected to be signed are a joint venture agreement, a lease agreement and a concessionary agreement.

"This deal will benefit the country as all agreements have been drafted to benefit the country as much as possible. This project will also generate a lot of jobs," Samarawickrema said.

He further said that cabinet approval had been obtained for the deal with China merchants Holdings.

Samarawickrema also dismissed reports of selling state lands to any country for a massive development drive in the south, where it was expecting several international investors to come in.

He added only 5 percent of private lands had been used and all agreements would be signed on a 99 year lease.

Sri Lanka is expecting $2-3 billion worth of foreign investments this year and expects a total of $50 billion or more worth of investments to come in the future.

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