The Government will invest Rs. 3.5 billion to provide infrastructure to set up the Industrial Park in Millaniya, Kalutara, said, State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe. This would be then offered to Rojana Industrial Park Public Limited of Thailand.
This Park to be built on a rubber estate belonging to the Horana Plantations would be ready by 2018 December covering an area of 150 acres. “We are in the process of acquiring land for the project and also talking with CEB, Water Board and the Road Developed Authority to get water and electricity to the venue. Normally it takes about five years to get all the approvals and build the infrastructure which we hope to do in one year,” he said.
“Under the phase one we expect an investment in the excess of US$ 500 million. The existing parks are almost full and Sri Lanka has not had any new industrial parks developed after the early 2000s. To bring in investors we need parks of this nature,” Senasinghe said.
It has also been proposed to create a special exit at Palpola in the Southern Highway between Bandaragama (Galanigama ) and Kalutara (Dodangoda) to provide easier access to the zone.
Meanwhile Rojana, a joint venture between Japan’s Nippon Steel and Thailand’s Vinichbutr Group, signed a letter of intent to set up an Industrial Park in Millaniya, Kalutara yesterday at the BOI auditorium.
Chai Vinichbutr, Vice President, Rojana Industrial Park Public Limited a big operator of industrial parks in Thailand, told Daily News Business that the investment climate in Sri Lanka was very good and this was the reason they decided to set up this venture in Sri Lanka. “We were also attracted by Sri Lanka’s unique geographical location and also investor friendly legislature,” he said
Vinichbutr said that they have over 500 companies in their industrial zones in Thailand for 30 years.
“We have set up factories with them and we will talk with them to set up their operations in this Park. We aim to draw investors making electronic home appliances like television sets initially and later get auto parts manufacturers. We will also market some of these products locally. The minimum labour wage in Sri Lanka too is still workable for foreign investors,” he remarked. Rojana are expanding their operations in Thailand and are currently developing two new Industrial Parks in the Eastern Seaboard of Chonburi Province.