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Port City Colombo secures LOLC’s and CHEC’s Investment; sets the stage for the One Billion Dollar “Colombo International Financial Centre”

Browns Investments PLC, the Strategic Investment Arm of the LOLC Group, has entered into a landmark Agreement to partner with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited to commence the Colombo International Finance Centre Mixed Development Project in the Port City Colombo. China and Sri Lanka have long established an enduring relationship characterised by economic cooperation and societal collaboration, so this partnership further underlines the confidence and commitment to development in the country through the combination of a world-renowned Sri Lankan conglomerate and a distinguished Chinese enterprise.

This is a milestone project with an investment value totalling USD 1 Bn, representing important long-term implications on the economic growth of Sri Lanka, and has been accordingly declared a Strategic Development Project under the Strategic Development Projects Act No. 14 of 2008. With two companies at the helm with substantial international expertise as well as a strong commitment towards social responsibility, it is certain that this project will drive long-term sustainable development.

Port City Colombo (PCC), a vision to build a World Class City and to be the financial and modern services hub for South Asia was spearheaded by the then-President and current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa and was jointly inaugurated together with the Chinese President His Excellency Xi Jinping in 2014. The reclamation of 269 hectares of land from the Indian Ocean was completed in January 2019 and was declared part of Sri Lanka in July 2019 after complying with all necessary formalities including a Parliament resolution. Infrastructure development covering internal road network, water channel, utility connectivity, 2 km long public beach front and a 14-hectare large Central Park is currently in full-swing and on schedule for completion in 2021 where the PCC is well set to be the leading retail, residential and business destination in South Asia. Built as an extension of the existing Colombo Central Business District, the PCC had an initial investment of USD 1.4 Bn and an expected overall investment of USD 15 Bn when completed. There will be 5 different precincts in the completed Mixed Development scheme, namely the Financial District, Central Park Living, Island Living, The Marina and the International Island. With an estimated 5.7 Mn square metres of Built-Up Area, the PCC will boast some of the best in design, in terms of offices, medical facilities, educational facilities, Integrated Resort, Marina, Retail Destinations, Hotels and various Lifestyle Developments. Using the latest sustainable city designs and smart city concepts, PCC will be at the cutting-edge of global standards and is anticipated to be a focal point of South Asia.

The inaugural vertical development of Port City Colombo (PCC) is to be a mixed-use development which will be the Colombo International Finance Centre (CIFC), divided into two Phases of implementation. Phase One comprises the construction of residential, commercial and retail asset components set to break ground in mid-2021. Phase Two will be a commercially-oriented development with office and retail space offerings that will commence construction parallel to the start of Phase One. Located in the gateway of PCC on a total land extending across 6.8 Ha, the CIFC project will have unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean along the South-Western side of the development. Further to this, there will be breath-taking views of the Colombo Port and Financial District, particularly on the East where Grade-A offices, banks, Five-Star hotels, luxury shopping malls and tourist refreshment areas and attractions are scattered within a 500-metre-radius. CIFC is expected to attract locals, expatriates and foreigners while boasting the lifestyle and business facilities comparative to that of other renowned business hubs in the region, as well as on a global level. The CIFC Mixed Development Project is set to be positioned in the fast-developing South Asia region as a locally relevant but internationally appealing composite development. Both the Port City and its CIFC Project are sure to be facilitators in promoting FDIs to Sri Lanka.

Message from the Prime Minister’s Office

The first investment within the Port City Colombo will commence with the one billion dollar Colombo International Finance Centre (CIFC) Mixed Development Project.

The momentous agreement between Browns Investments, the strategic investment arm of the LOLC Group, and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) was signed this morning in the presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong.

“Attracting foreign direct investment is a key priority for our Government, and this landmark project is a strong indicator that Sri Lanka is now back in business,” Prime Minister Rajapaksa said. “We invite investors from around the world to explore the multitude of investment opportunities that Sri Lanka presents with its strategic location and human resource capabilities.”

The Port City Colombo was the brainchild of Prime Minister Rajapaksa, launched during his presidency together with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to Sri Lanka in 2014. With an initial investment of US$ 1.4 billion and an expected overall investment of US$ 15 billion when completed, the Port City is set to be the leading business, retail, residential and tourist destination in South Asia.

The project comprises a total land area of 6.8 hectares, implemented under two phases. The first phase of the CIFC Mixed Development Project, with an investment of US$ 450 million and comprising a land area of 3.06 hectares, will consist of the incorporation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company, will be jointly managed by Browns Investments and CHEC.

The overall project, which will be implemented in a sustainable and socially-responsible manner, expects to create significant quality employment opportunities across a variety of sectors.

Message from the Embassy of China

China and Sri Lanka enjoy a history of friendship and cooperation for thousands of years. It’s a great joy to see that in the new era both Sri Lanka Government and Chinese enterprise are jointly developing many mega-projects such as the Port City Colombo and welcoming partners from all around the world to build the Colombo International Financial Centre Mixed Development Project together. At this crucial moment, China once again demonstrates its confidence in Sri Lanka and commitment to help Sri Lanka's economic and social development. It’s well believed that the International Financial Centre Project will not only effectively boost the vigorous growth of Sri Lanka's finance and other industries, but also create more high-quality job opportunities, benefiting the general public and society.

Statement from LOLC Holdings PLC Group

The CIFC Mixed Development Project will be piloted over two phases, whereby Browns Investments is partnering with CHEC for Phase One via the incorporation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company, a subsidiary of Browns Investments. The total investment in Phase One amounts to USD 450 Mn with a buildable land area spanning 3.06 hectares, which is leased from CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Limited to the new SPV that will be jointly managed by Brpwms and CHEC. This will be a significant undertaking involving the construction of one residential apartment tower, one serviced apartment tower, one office tower and a retail podium on the ground floor. Ascending to 39 floors, the total Gross Floor Area across the investments will exceed 160,000 square metres, with residential and serviced apartments encompassing an area of over 88,000 square metres inclusive of parking, a retail space of 24,000 square metres, while the office complex will have a cross area of over 48,000 square metres.

Commenting on the CIFC project, Chairman of BI and Deputy Chairman of LOLC Group, Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara stated “we are pleased to partner with CHEC on this landmark venture that optimises the true potential of Sri Lanka’s strategic location within South Asia and consider it as a privilege to be a partner in the establishment of CIFC as a unique, multifaceted project in the heart of the Central Business District of Colombo. This project is well set to establish the Colombo International Finance Centre as a premier regional hub that attracts world-class players to employ a catalytic role in Sri Lanka, encompassing multi-dimensional value creation for the entire country.”

Statement from CHEC

As a responsible and reputed international company, CHEC has been committed to improving Sri Lanka's livelihood by developing its infrastructure nationwide over the last two decades. Fulfilling our social responsibility by creating tens of thousands of local employment opportunities and driving the development of a large number of local businesses. Today marks a new beginning, while cooperating with Browns Investments PLC (the strategic investment arm of the LOLC Group), CHEC has the absolute confidence to successfully develop the Colombo International Financial Centre Mixed-Use Development Project. The project will become a new centre for international finance, offshore business, trade and logistics, IT, tourism and shopping, creating a novel international and smart life style, establishing a unique landmark for Colombo and Sri Lanka.

Jiang Houliang, Managing Director of CPCC and Ishara Nanayakkara, Executive Chairman of Browns Investments exchanging the agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Standing from L-R: Thulci Aluwihare, Head of Strategy & Business Development of CPCC, Sun Wenbin, Director of Property Development of CPCC, Li Guangjun, Counsellor of Economic & Commercial of the Embassy of People's Republic of China to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms, Kapila Jayawardena, LOLC Group Managing Director/CEO and Kamantha Amarasekara, Director, Browns Investments.