SURBANA Jurong has signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan government to develop Trincomalee, a major port city on the east coast of Sri Lanka, into an economic hub.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was inked on Thursday by Surbana Jurong’s chief executive officer (International) Teo Eng Cheong and Sri Lanka Secretary for Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs M I M Rafeek.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Singapore’s Industry Minister S Iswaran, who was on a three-day visit to the country, and Sri Lanka Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama.
Surbana Jurong, an urban planning consultancy, will be the master planner and will develop a concept plan for the Trincomalee Metro Area, which has an area of 1,363 sq km.
The plan will cover transportation, infrastructure, environmental and implementation proposals, and Surbana will also help to set up a master plan online database.
“(We have) the experience and know-how to share with Sri Lanka. We hope that we can contribute to Sri Lanka’s development with our expertise,” said Mr Teo.
The project is supported by the Singapore government to open doors for downstream economic and knowledge sharing opportunities between the two countries, said Surbana Jurong in a statement.
Apart from the MOU signing, Mr Iswaran on Thursday visited Singapore subsidiary Prima Ceylon Flour Mill Complex, the largest integrated flour milling complex in Sri Lanka. He also called on Nazeer Ahamed, the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province.
According to latest figures from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sri Lanka was Singapore’s 39th-largest trading partner in 2015, with bilateral trade amounting to S$2.05 billion. Foreign direct investment from Singapore to Sri Lanka amounted to S$656 million as of 2014.
Singapore and Sri Lanka are also planning to start negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement soon, a deal that is expected to comprise commitments in trade in goods, services, investment and government procurement.