Korean companies sign MoU to construct LRT line from Negombo to Colombo


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between KCI Metro Link Korea Company Ltd. and the GBK Consortium Ltd. of the Republic of Korea to conduct a feasibility study in order to construct an LRT line from Negombo to Colombo via Bandaranaike International Airport of Colombo as well as a mixed development project.

The MoU was signed between Dr. Parimalam Rajo Isa Michael, President of KCI Metro Link Korea Company Ltd. and Dr. Byung Chun Shin, CEO of GBK Consortium Ltd. last week in the presence of the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Korea, Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis.

In this regard, the Consortium is to utilize approximately USD 500 million concessionary loan of the Korean EXIM Bank extended to Sri Lanka and to raise well over a USD one billion from international investors and money center banks.

This mega project could transform the entire sphere of connectivity in the Colombo District, thus establishing greater connectivity between and amongst cities and villages in the District. This mega development project could elevate the District of Colombo as one of the more efficient and connected districts not only in South Asia but in the entire Continent of Asia.

At the signing ceremony of aforementioned MoU, which was attended by over 15 members of the Consortium and potential investors, Ambassador Dr. Mendis addressed the gathering after the conclusion of the signing ceremony.

Dr. Mendis, during his 50-minute address, stated that world over be it advanced economies or developing economies, the connectivity or highways have played a critical, decisive and seminal role in economic advancement and augmentation of the countries.

In this context, Dr. Mendis delineated a number of countries, including the Republic of Korea and Malaysia, which have rapidly developed due to connectivity. Further, Dr. Mendis stated that Sri Lanka, at this juncture, is very well positioned and very well poised to receive Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investments (FII) since all foreign investments are protected by the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

On the same note, Dr. Mendis stated that, today, Sri Lanka is where the Republic of Korea was in late 1980s, approximately 30 years ago. He added that key and determining attributes such as political stability, rule of law, conducive investment environment, human & natural resources and potentiality, to name a few, are well pronounced and are present in Sri Lanka, thus making the country a potential Mecca for FDI and FII in the region.

Dr. Mendis also equated the current stage of the economy of the country to an equity market/stock market, which is about to rise. He stated that most equity markets begin to rise with skepticism, they rise with pessimism, they peak with optimism and they crash with euphoria.

Dr. Mendis urged and entreated the potential investors to seize and capture the opportunity of the economy of Sri Lanka similar to an equity market about to rise, since the economy of Sri Lanka is at the first stage of beginning to rise.

After the address, Q&A session followed, during which, many queries and clarifications were addressed.