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* Sri Lanka, Singapore ink agreement to develop Western Province
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 06:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 18, Singapore: Sri Lanka and Singapore signed an agreement opening doors for Singapore business investments to drive the development of Western Region Megapolis on Monday.

A Singapore government agency, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development (MoMWD) of Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today at the Istana. The MOU aims to enhance business flows through greater access to partnerships for the development of the Western Region Megapolis.

This is the first MOU between Sri Lanka and a Singapore government agency, paving the way for stronger Singapore-Sri Lanka investment and economic partnerships, the IE Singapore said in a release.

Mr. Tan Soon Kim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IE Singapore and Mr. Nihal Rupasinghe, Secretary to MoMWD of the Government of Sri Lanka signed the MOU this morning. It was witnessed by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is currently on an official state visit to Singapore.

Signing the agreement, Mr. Kim said "Given its accelerated growth, the Western Region Megapolis is a good first stop for Singapore companies to consider when doing business in Sri Lanka. The MOU signed between IE Singapore and MoMWD creates a platform for Singapore and Sri Lankan companies to partner each other in the urban solutions and connectivity sectors."

The Western Region Megapolis is one of the flagship developments by the Sri Lankan government, which aims to triple the region's per capita income to US$12,000 by 2020, targeting an average annual growth rate of 7-8% over the next 4 years. It is expected to increase employment and growth, with 142 projects estimated at US$40 billion over the next 15 years.

"The Western Region Megapolis Project is one of the most ambitious initiatives of the Government of Sri Lanka, through which we expect to bring forth a major urban transformation in our capital city region. There will be many investment opportunities that emerge as a result," said Mr. Nihal Rupasinghe. "We expect that the MOU we have signed between my Ministry and IE Singapore will deepen the collaboration we already have, and open the door for more Singaporean investors to participate in Sri Lanka's growth."

Within the Western Region Megapolis, Singapore companies can look forward to opportunities in Urban Solutions and Connectivity. These include: Master planning, urban design and investments in industrial and tourism development zones; Port-related development, and logistics services and infrastructure to build its Aero-Maritime Trade Hub; Technology collaboration for Smart City infrastructure; and Development of the Central Business District of Colombo, such as the restoration of heritage buildings and transport infrastructure.

To help Singapore companies better understand the business developments in Sri Lanka, IE Singapore will be hosting Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a closed-door dialogue and lunch session attended by 20 industry representatives on Tuesday to exchange ideas on areas of collaboration in the Western Region Megapolis and the greater Sri Lanka, the agency said.

At the session, Singapore companies will also discuss how they can navigate challenges on the ground, such as partnering the Government of Sri Lanka and local corporate companies.


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