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* China Merchant hopeful of a breakthrough in talks to build container terminal in Sri Lanka
Thu, Apr 1, 2010, 12:34 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 01, Colombo: The Chinese port operator China Merchants Holdings (International) has reportedly said that it expected a breakthrough in talks to build a new container terminal in Sri Lanka's Colombo harbor this year.

China Merchants Holdings (International) (CMHI) has said in statements accompanying its results for 2009 that although the global trade meltdown has slowed its own port investments, it was going ahead with two projects - one in Sri Lanka and the other in Vietnam.

The group is "still on course for negotiation of certain overseas projects as scheduled," CMHI has said on Wednesday (31) in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing.

"The container terminal projects in Vung Tau, Vietnam and Colombo, Sri Lanka in which the group has been planning to invest have evidenced a number of key negotiation milestones. It is expected to have breakthrough of these two projects within 2010."

CMHI, in partnership with Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence, was the sole bidder for the first container terminal to be built in the Colombo South Port project.

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