China’s EXIM Bank approves US $ 1bn loan for highway project

Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan exchanging the loan agreement in the presence of Finance Ministry and Chinese Embassy officials 

  • Finance Ministry says this is the single largest loan approved by China’s EXIM Bank to-date
  • Total estimated cost of the project is US$ 1,164 mn
  • This proposed highway is to improve inter-regional connectivity and efficiency of the entire expressway network

China’s Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) has approved US $ 989 million concessional loan for the Central Expressway Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama.
The Finance Ministry said the loan, which is the single largest loan approved by the China’s EXIM Bank, covers 85 percent of the contract price.
The total estimated cost of the project is US$ 1,164 million.
Section 1 of the CEP will start from Kadawatha where four expressways, namely Outer Circular Highway (OCH) II, OCH III and Colombo-Katunayaka Expressway and the Central Expressway link through the Kadawatha interchange.
This will create an uninterrupted connectivity from Hambantota to Katunayaka or Hambantota to Kandy, linking several provinces and economically-important ports, airports and commercial cities.
This proposed highway will improve the inter-regional connectivity and efficiency of the entire expressway network.
“Since, the implementation of Section 2 of the Central Expressway has already been commenced with financial assistance from local commercial banks, this loan facility from China EXIM Bank will facilitate the speedy implementation of Kadawatha –Meerigama section ensuring the connectivity of the expressway network up to Kurunagala,” Finance Ministry said.
The loan agreement was signed on March 22 by Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Cheng Xueyuan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Embassy of China in Sri Lanka on behalf of the EXIM Bank of China at the Ministry of Finance in Colombo.
The Finance Ministry said the government has accorded high importance to the development of infrastructure including expressway networks with inter-connectivity as it will directly contribute to the economic growth and will have indirect effects in raising the productivity and efficiency in different economic sectors.

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