Hambantota Port signs MoU with Chinese automotive company

  • Move expected to promote HIPG Industrial Park

The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. (King Long) in Fujian, China in order to promote HIPG’s Industrial Park globally.

This is a direct result of the investment promotion in Fujian, led by Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Dr. Palitha Kohona and HIPG’s investment promotion team headed by HIPG General Manager (GM) – Port Investment Services Justin Zhang.

China Merchants Group Chief Representative in Sri Lanka and HIPG CEO Johnson Liu said the collaboration with the Sri Lankan Embassy in China and the efforts by Ambassador Dr. Kohona is an important link in bringing investment to Sri Lanka.

“We are exploring many other avenues in promoting investment and our investment promotion team is working very well with the Sri Lankan Embassy in China. We believe there is great synergy to be achieved between China and Sri Lanka trade. The Hambantota Industrial Park is being promoted globally and it is our goal to have a vibrant international investor community operating within the zone,” Liu said.

King Long Motor Group Vice President Zhang Bin said: “We can fully take this good opportunity to further discuss the possibility regarding a local assembly factory in the HIPG Industrial Park.  With the Hambantota Port being so strategically located, we would be able to reach newer markets in Southeast Asia.”

Established in 1988, Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. manufactures large and medium-sized buses, coaches, and vans. With three large manufacturing bases, King Long’s products have been exported to over 140 countries and regions worldwide, and is ranked among the top 10 automobile brands in China.

The signing of the MoU took place at the King Long office in Xiamen city, with the HIPG team and the Sri Lankan Ambassador also attending. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Kohona said that Sri Lanka and China have maintained stable economic relations with each other and the world. Enterprises investing in Sri Lanka will be able to enjoy multiple tax incentives, and the benefits arising from Sri Lanka’s free trade agreements as well as preferential treatment such as GSP+ (Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus).

“Sri Lanka welcomes Chinese high-end manufacturing facilities setting up in Sri Lanka and commend King Long for choosing the Hambantota International Port Group’s industrial park to expand its regional footprint. No doubt this strategic partnership will be of great benefit to King Long, HIPG, and the Sri Lankan economy,” he said.