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Old December 3rd, 2012, 03:18 PM   #1
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Hambantota IT Park and Free Trade Zone

It's a project...of a sort.

From Various sources:


IT park
The government of Sri Lanka has big plans for the improvement of the IT sector with targets of making it into a $1 billion industry by 2016. Dubbed incorrectly (AFAIK ‘Orion City‘ came about in 2007-08) as the ‘first IT park in Sri Lanka’, ‘Hambantota IT park’ seems to be an infrastructure in place to partially fulfill the said objective.
At a glance:
Proposed area for IT park: 5000 acres (approx. 20 million sq meters)
Significant landmarks in Hambantota vicinity: Shangri-La Resort and Spa, Sooriyawewa cricket stadium, Hambantota Magam Ruhunupura International Port, Hambantota International Airport, Ranmihitenna Tele Cinema Village, Bundala National Park, Hambantota Wind Farm
Current interests in the IT park: Intel Corporation to set up chip making plant, IBM, 2 Universities (Singapore, India), Tech One Global, Mobitel Lanka call centre, 3000-room apartment complex
p.s – If there are any other landmarks of interest,development that I have missed, do comment below
With money being pumped into the area by the government without any objection since its spearheaded (with help from certain ghost advisors/consultants) by the president’s son, Namal Rajapaksa , the IT park could very well sit in the midst of a developed fully fetched modern city with connected road networks (highway connection from Matara by 2016E) to Colombo. With the new 2nd airport in Sri Lanka located in Hambantota, there might not even be a need to travel to Katunayake for foreign investors/consultants.
Employment opportunities directly and indirectly would increase with the development of the IT park. The government estimates an addition of 50,000 employment opportunities. Foreign investments would flow into the country, local entrepreneurs could flourish, encourages the masses (with the youth in Hambantota richly benefiting) in working on skilled jobs, indirectly improves the education sector with private schools being based to fulfill the needs of the workforce who relocate with family… all of this seems like the IT park could be a gold mine. It could be, as long as the challenges are met.
Is it really viable for an IT park to be located in a place like Hambantota? Would the professional IT personal be willing to work outside of Colombo, possibly relocating? Would investors pick the Colombo based IT park ‘Orion city’ instead? Would the hot climate in Hambantota act as a hindrance? Would the ‘possibility’ of an unstable government give second thoughts for investors? (since these high fetched plans and developments in Hambantota are possible only till the Rajapaksas’ stay in power). These would be just a few questions that would have to be raised with regard to a successful IT park in Hambantota.
The future for Sri Lanka:
All in all, the ideas and action for such projects, and paying due diligence to an educated skilled society by the government would no doubt drive the country towards a sustainable platform in which to compete globally while residing in the pearl of the Indian Ocean… which in my humble opinion is a dream for any Sri Lankan.

Trade Zone:
17 entrepreneurs express interest in investing in Sri Lanka's Hambantota FTZ
Tue, Nov 27, 2012, 10:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 27, Colombo: The Ports Authority of Sri Lanka says that 17 entrepreneurs have expressed interest in investing in the Hambantota free trade zone (FTZ).

The 17 investors have expressed willingness to invest US$ 2 billion in the FTZ.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLAP) Chairman, Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama has said that some of the agreements for the projects have already been signed and agreements for the other projects in the FTZ would also be signed shortly.

He has observed that the investor interest in the Hambantota FTZ proves that the Hambantota port is not a white elephant as perceived by some.

Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd., India, via its subsidiary Lanka Sugar Refinery Company (Private) Limited s signed a US$ 220 million deal with the SLPA earlier this month.

Apart from these investments, a few vehicle assembling factories including Audi and a bus assembling factory are to be established outside Hambantota port.

According to Dr. Wickrama, there's a positive environment in the country for investments.

State of the art data centre for Hambantota IT Park

Trimax IT Infrastructure & Services Limited, India signed an agreement with the Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry to establish a state-of-the-art data centre at the Hambantota IT Park.

The total value of the project is Rs 3. 5 billion. Trimax IT Infrastructure & Services Ltd chairman Surya Prakash

Madrecha said after 30 years of ethnic conflict, Sri Lanka is en route to economic growth and development.

" The country would be targeting a per capita income in the excess of US $ 4,000 in 2016.

As part of the 10 - year development plan of Mahinda Chinthana, the vision is to take the country forward to be the 'Wonder of Asia' with investment in Information Technology being given importance by the Sri Lanka government. We see this investment to be fruitful and long term," he said. Madrecha said construction would start in five months and a regional office too will be set up in Colombo next week.

The IT Park is a visionary concept of MP Namal Rajapaksa.

The IT Park is to be positioned in Hambantota. Trimax is a US$156.8 million company with 11 offices, 600+ support locations and over 1,600 employees in India.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 07:07 PM   #2
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Sri Lanka IT park in South to be completed by 2017

Sri Lanka is building an information technology park in Suriyawewa in Hambantota in the island's south, which is expected to be fully operational by 2016-2017, an official said.

Reshan Devapura, head of Sri Lanka's state ICT Agency said the IT park is being built on a 200 acre site.
The IT businesses will be located on a core 50 acre area and the rest will be used for housing, health and educational facilities.

Devapura said good facilities were needed to attract people to work in the park.

He said many telecom firms have already agreed to provide services to the park.

Gampaha in the Western Province was also earlier mentioned as a possible candidate location.
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