Sri Lanka 'knowledge park' in Colombo
Sri Lanka Urban Development Authority and the military is building a 'knowledge park' in the capital Colombo at the cost of about seven million US dollars which will be ready by the year-end, officials said.
Defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told business forum of Sri Lanka's software and business process outsourcing chamber (SLASSCOM) that Tripoli Market in Colombo's Maradana area, will be renovated for use by a cluster of private firms.Sankalpa Gamwarige, general manager of Zone24x7, an information technology firm said it will be reconstructed by the Navy, bringing down costs.
The park will have electronic, software, business process outsourcing, fashion design, pharmaceutical and health professionals, with universities of Moratuwa and Peradeniya also being represented.
By clustering firms together allowing people to interact with each other innovation and new ideas are more easily promoted, industry officials said.
"Value addition happens when you put different things together," Gamwarige said. "The whole idea is to come up with one place where we can connect different people's ideas and thoughts."
Gamwarige said since a group of companies first met the Secretary Rajapaksa to propose the project only in November, progress has been rapid and the park is expected to be ready for occupation by December this year or in January.
The UDA is expected to invest about 7 million US dollars in the project and recover the money from rents.
Rajapaksa said private firms could also set up shop in an IT park coming up in Hambantota.But investors had a preference for working close to Colombo particularly due to the availability of education facilities in Colombo for their employee's children.
Rajapaksa said the perception that education facilities was weak outside Colombo was not true as the best students in both biology and mathematics in the country in the national university entrance exam came from Weeraketiya, his hometown.
A faculty of the Kothalalwala Defence University will be opened in Hambantota.