Sri Lanka, Japan and India will soon finalise the specific terms to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port. The representatives of the three countries last week signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to jointly develop the ECT.
â€œThe three governments will work out details based on the MOC at joint working group meetings, and advance their cooperation towards early commencement of work and operation of the ECT,â€ a statement from the Port Ministry said.
As a hub of the Indian Ocean, the development of Sri Lanka and openness of its ports are of great importance. Colombo Port is the leading Port in the region. This joint project reflects the longstanding good will and cooperation among the three countries.
Japan has cooperated to develop the Jaya Container Terminal since the 1980s. Around 70% of Colombo Portâ€™s transshipment business is India-related. Sri Lanka, Japan and India will work together for further development of the Colombo Port and contribute to further regional prosperity and stability of global trading networks.
SLPA retains 100% ownership of East Container Terminal (ECT). The Terminal Operations Company (TOC) conducting all East Container Terminal operations is jointly owned; Sri Lanka retains a 51% stake, and the joint venture partners purchase a 49% stake.
The envisaged Japanese loan carries one of the best loan terms Sri Lanka has obtained. The 51% stake is also one of the best in SLPA joint ownership endeavours. SLPAâ€™s majority ownership in the new TOC represents a significant step in prioritizing National Interests.
Meanwhile, Japan has agreed to provide a loan at the interest rate of 0.1% interest rate and a repayment period of 40 years with another 10 years of grace period. This is one of the best loan terms Sri Lanka has obtained, a Port Ministry official said.
As the Colombo port is increasingly becoming an integral part of global trade and the government aims to develop Sri Lankaâ€™s shipping industry to go beyond being a container transhipment hub for the South Asian region and make it a broader hub serving a wide range of maritime related businesses.
Sri Lanka wants to take part in Chinaâ€™s â€˜One Belt, One Roadâ€™ new Silk Route initiative to develop trade in the region as well as Indiaâ€™s â€˜Sagarmalaâ€™ port development project, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe told a maritime conference earlier.