Sri Lanka sells port to China for $1.5 billionStaff Writer | July 31, 2017
Sri Lanka government signed a long-delayed agreement to sell a 70% stake in a $1.5-billion port to China in a bid to recover from the heavy burden of repaying a Chinese loan obtained to build the facility, report local media.
Shipping A 99-year lease
According to the agreement, the Chinese firm will run the workings of the newly constructed port over a 99-year lease.
The Port of Hambantota is located on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka occupying a prime location within 10 nautical miles to the main shipping route from Asia to Europe and is also in a strategic position along the “Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.
Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that in addition to the US$ 1.12 billion further 600 million US dollars will be spent to modernize the Hambantota harbor considered as the largest swimming pool of the world.
Hu Jianhua, the executive vice-president of the China Merchants Port said the port facilities belong to the citizens of Sri Lanka but will be a key part of China's massive One Belt One Road initiative to build trade and transport links across Asia and beyond. ■