In a bid to build a US$400 million East Container Terminal at Colombo Port, Sri Lanka is looking for a consortium which includes a company from the Indian subcontinent, in order to counterbalance growing Chinese influence within the country, according to Reuters.
Arjuna Ranatunga, Ports Minister for Sri Lanka, said: “We don't specifically say Indian. But we need to understand up to 65 percent of our cargoes go to India and 72 percent to the subcontinent.
“Even Chinese companies have to form a consortium with a minimum 20 percent stake from a subcontinent company. It can't be a Sri Lankan company. But it could be either a Pakistan or Bangladesh company.”
PTI previously reported that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority had announced that it will be inviting an expression of interest to select a concessionaire.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority also announced that it will award a build operate transfer (BOT) concession for the East Container Terminal (ECT).
China recently requested for the pace to be quickened on a plan to negotiate the second phase of the US$750 million Hambantota port project with Sri Lanka.