The governments of Sri Lanka, India and Japan have formally signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) in the Colombo South Port.
According to a statement from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), the deal was formally signed on May 28, 2019 and will see the three countries work together to improve trade in the Indian Ocean.
“This joint project reflects the longstanding good will and cooperation among the three countries,” the statement reads.
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“Japan has provided cooperation for the development of the Jaya Container Terminal since the 1980s.
“Around 70% of Colombo Port’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.”
As part of the MoC, the SLPA will retain 100% ownership of the ECT, but the company that conducts all of its operations will be jointly owned between Sri Lanka – 51% – and the remaining 49% being split between India and Japan.
PTI originally reported on this story on May 21, 2019, and noted how this deal could see all parties come into direct contact with China’s New Silk Road – China has a 99-year lease on the Port of Hambanothota, on Sri Lanka’s south coast.