Port City Colombo’s Attractiveness to Global Investors Is Consistently Growing

These moves underscore that the PCC project serves as a model for promoting Sri Lanka’s economic and social development through Chinese solutions.

On March 12, 2024, Sri Lanka’s Port City Colombo (PCC) marked a significant milestone with the ground-breaking ceremony for its premier business park, the Business Centre. The Business Centre will feature distinct zones – an IT Park and a Commercial District – all with a focus on sustainability through modern workspaces like garden offices.

PCC is a multi-billion-dollar FDI-funded mixed development project to create a new Special Economic Zone at the very heart of the South Asian region — the vibrant, thriving metropolis of Colombo in Sri Lanka on land reclaimed from the sea.

Positioned as a gateway to South Asia and located in one of the most liveable cities of South Asia, it offers a unique combination of global investment opportunities, international business environment, world-class infrastructure, and sustainable yet cosmopolitan living.

The PCC is an extension to the commercial heart of Colombo, a brand-new city development built as an International ‘Service Oriented’ Special Economic Zone with an initial investment of $1.4 billion and an expected $20 billion overall investment when completed. Spanning 269 hectares (ha), it is a sea reclamation project next to the existing Colombo Business District (CBD).

The PCC will be a premier residential, retail and business destination, offering unmatched planned city living along the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The development comprises five different precincts including the Financial District, Central Park Living, Island Living, The Marina and the International Island.

The PCC’s geographical location gives a comparative advantage to be the gateway to the Indian subcontinent and to serve South and East Asia, the Middle East and Africa to access key markets. PCC aims an international business and services hub with specialised infrastructure to promote key economic activities and provide all the required infrastructure and amenities for international businesses of all categories.

The PCC’s signature development of this multi-faceted investment includes the Colombo International Finance Centre (CIFC) Mixed Development Project, which will be developed to establish a vibrant financial hub within the PCC which aims to emulate the successful economic models of global commercial cities, such as Dubai and Singapore.

Children look at a sand table model of Colombo’s Port City in Sri Lanka, Dec. 3, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)

The PCC is a flagship project of China-Sri Lanka cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Constructed and invested by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), a subsidiary of State-owned China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC), the project is the largest public-private partnership in Sri Lanka to date, with a committed investment of $1.4 billion.

CCCC is a leading global comprehensive service provider of ultra-large infrastructure, mainly engaged in the investment, construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, equipment manufacturing, real estate and urban comprehensive development. CCCC is listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and the company’s profitability and value-creation capability are in a world-leading position. In 2021, CCCC ranked 61st in the Fortune Global 500.

Construction of the Port City started in September 2014 and is expected to take 25 years to complete. The PCC is also expected to bring $20 billion in overall investment and is expected to create over 140,000 direct job opportunities and contribute $13.8 billion to the GDP of Sri Lanka annually when completed. The PCC will have over 6.3 million square meters of built space, boasting world-class Office, Retail and Residential facilities.

In October 2023, Port City Economic Commission, China Harbour Engineering Company, Browns Investments and Hunan Construction Investment Group signed the groundbreaking $1.565 billion corporation framework agreement in Beijing for the Phase 2 development of the PCC project with the agreement covering the development of the Marina Project and Marina Hotel Project and the CIFC Mixed Development Project.

The CCCC Chairman Wang Tongzhou and a delegation called on Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on February 27, 2024. During the meeting, the CCCC Chairman Wang Tongzhou told President Wickremesinghe that CCCC will put in more resources to accelerate construction and development of PCC and enhance the global marketing and promotion efforts. Further he said that the company plans to invest a total investment of approximately $300 million for the phase 2 infrastructure development by June this year.

With luxury hospitality, residential, commercial and top-tier social infrastructure offerings, such as an international school, hospital and university expected to emerge in the near future, PCC continues to evolve into a dynamic economic hub that provides significant potential for international investors.

With all these investments, clearly the PCC’s attractiveness to global investors is consistently growing. The investors and businesses don’t want to miss out on the exciting investment opportunities and are looking to establish a presence within PCC to access opportunities particularly in South-Asia as one of the world’s fastest-growing regions with a doubling middle class.

These moves underscore that the PCC project serves as a model for promoting Sri Lanka’s economic and social development through Chinese solutions. It will make Colombo Business District the most competitive and preferred city in South Asia.


The article reflects the author’s opinions, and not necessarily the views of China Focus.