China Approves USD 1 Billion For Sri Lanka's Central Expressway: Chinese Ambassador Conveys To PM

Sri Lanka Prime Minister's office announced that had approved a US$1 billion loan to revive a long-delayed Central Expressway.

Construction of the first phase of the road linking Colombo with Kandy had been delayed for more than two years due to a lack of foreign funding,

The Prime Minister's office, in a statement said, he met the Chinese ambassador on Monday, who told him Beijing had decided to approve the loan that will be provided through the Export-Import Bank of China.

After the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition came to power in January 2015, many projects were suspended pending investigations into corruption allegations, but construction work has recently restarted following renegotiations.

Last August, China took over a loss-making deep-sea port in the island's south on a 99-year lease under a US$1.1 billion deal.

Colombo is a key hub for Indian cargo, and Beijing has been accused of seeking to develop facilities around the Indian Ocean to counter the rise of its rival and secure its own economic interests. (With inputs from Channel News Asia)

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