Hambantota port agreement signed

30th July 2017


The Hambantota Port Agreement was signed yesterday at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping auditorium at the auspicious time of 10.44 a.m. with assurances from both sides that subsequent amendments to the Agreement would also be incorporated.
There were three signatories to the Agreement. Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping L. P. Jayampathi and Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr, Parakrama Dissanayake signed on behalf of the Government and the Executive Vice Chairman of China Merchant Port Ltd Dr. Hu Jianhua signed on behalf the Government of China.

New Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe in his opening remarks prior to the signing of the US$ 1.4 billion Agreement, said that the Agreement would be submitted to next Tuesday's Cabinet meeting and also to Parliament in a true spirit of transparency.

"We are a very transparent government and we have nothing to hide. We are submitting this signed agreement which has some amendments to the Cabinet and Parliament just to prove a point that we are transparent. This is because some of our detractors are already saying that there are differences between what was tabled in Parliament and my Cabinet Memorandum", the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of China Merchant Port Holdings Dr. Hu Jianhua, in a brief address, while mentioning the 60 years of Sri Lanka –China diplomatic relations, said that there was also a corporate plan to add value in terms of corporate social responsibility for residents in the area.

He also said that China Merchant Port Holdings came to Sri Lanka in 2009, at a time when there was one of the worst global recessions and the development of the Hambantota Port would see that it would be a regional maritime hub which would add vistas to regional and global economies

The Government delegates at the signing ceremony were Minister of Strategic Development of International Trade Malik Samarawickrema, Minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera and Deputy Minister of Ports and Shipping Nishantha Mutuhettigama. Minister of Petroleum Industries Arjuna Ranatunga, who was the Minister of Ports and Shipping till the recent Cabinet reshuffle, was a notable absentee.

There were also key officials comprising Cabinet Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe, Treasury Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and Secretary to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade Chandani Wijewardena.

Among the dignitaries of the Chinese delegation were, CM Port Managing Director Dr. Bai Jingtao, Deputy General Manager Hang Tian, Additional General Manager She Zenwu, Colombo International Container Terminals CEO Ren Ray Chinese Ambassador to Colombo Yi Xianliang and Chinese Counselor Yang Zuo Yuan

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