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Duty free facility at port city to open new segment of tourism

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Businesses of strategic importance opened at the Port City would get tax exemptions of 25 years and exemptions in VAT, customs duty and other tariffs, Radika Obeyaseka, Director, Investment Port City told the Business Forum ‘Port City : Propelling Sri Lanka’s Economics Take-off.

“We are catering to global entities and positioning port city as a regional hub.we are going to create job opportunities with global brands which would address the exodus of talent that we are seeing recently. The advantage of employees within this living fence jurisdiction is that employees will have the benefit of being paid in foreign currency as well as being exempt from income tax.”

She said the liberal visa regime will ensure that they are able to bring back some of the talent that have lost and as well as bring in highly skilled foreign nationals. By paving the way for international talent to operate within the port city that provides the next generation or younger generation with the opportunity of up skilling. She said in terms of the infrastructure development it’s drawing to a close and the project company has invested USD 1.5 billion and they are now moving into the commercialization stage of the project.

“And with the recent passing of key regulations such as incentives for businesses of strategic importance, DCRs and so on we are now moving to the commercializing stage. We have just come out of some international road shows where we have seen heightened international interest and the project is looking very promising.”

The duty free facility is going to be first of its kind for Sri Lanka as well as in the region. In terms of eligibility it will be for returning Sri Lankans with a valid Sri Lankan visa as well as foreign passport holders with a valid Sri Lankan visa.

“The thinking behind the downtown beautiful duty free facility at port city is that it will open a new segment of tourism for Colombo. We hope that this retail facility in Colombo will attract some of that retail tourism that would otherwise visit Singapore or Dubai and boost tourism in Colombo. The facility is expected to be launched at the end of December or early January.

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