IE Singapore inks first-ever MOU with Sri Lanka for business collaboration on megapolis

International Enterprise Singapore signed the memorandum of understanding with Sri Lanka on Monday (July 18).
International Enterprise Singapore signed the memorandum of understanding with Sri Lanka on Monday (July 18).PHOTO: VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - International Enterprise (IE) Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sri Lanka on Monday (July 18) to collaborate in the development of the country's Western Region Megapolis.

This is the first MOU between Sri Lanka and a Singapore government agency, paving the way for stronger bilateral investment and economic partnerships, said IE Singapore.

Mr Tan Soon Kim, assistant chief executive officer of IE Singapore, and Mr Nihal Rupasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development (MoMWD) of Sri Lanka, signed the MOU at the Istana. The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on an official state visit here.

Sri Lanka's Western Region is home to 5.8 million people or 29 per cent of the population. The region is the main driver of Sri Lanka's economy, contributing 40 per cent of its total gross domestic product in 2014. The Sri Lankan government aims to triple the region's per capita income to US$12,000 (S$16,200) by 2020, targeting an average annual growth rate of 7-8 per cent over the next four years.

The Western Region Megapolis is a flagship development which currently comprises 142 projects estimated at US$40 billion over the next 15 years.

Said Mr Tan: "Given its accelerated growth, the Western Region Megapolis is a good first stop for Singapore companies to consider when doing business in Sri Lanka. The MOU signed between IE Singapore and MoMWD creates a platform for Singapore and Sri Lankan companies to partner each other in the urban solutions and connectivity sectors."

Singapore companies can look forward to opportunities in urban solutions and connectivity, said IE Singapore. These include:

- Master planning, urban design and investments in industrial and tourism development zones;

- Port-related development, and logistics services and infrastructure to build its Aero-Maritime Trade Hub;

- Technology collaboration for Smart City infrastructure;

- Development of the central business district of Colombo, such as the restoration of heritage buildings and transport infrastructure.