Landmark FDI in Hambantota Port Industrial Zone

Commercial & Marketing

Global manufacturer Shandong Haohua Tire Co. to set up its South Asian manufacturing plant

Thursday 19th November 2020: The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), today signed a landmark agreement with China’s premier tire manufacturing conglomerate, Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd, at the BOI auditorium, World Trade Center with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa joining the ceremony remotely from Temple Trees. Other dignitaries present were the Minister for Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena, The Minister for Sports and Youth Namal Rajapaksa, the State Ministers D.V. Chanaka and Kanaka Herath and the Chairman of the BOI Susantha Ratnayake.

The tripartite project between Ceylon Tire Manufacturing Company Pvt. Ltd., HIPG and the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), marks a milestone partnership, and is the first of many such initiatives that will be undertaken by HIPG in the future. The port operator is committed to introducing high-end value-added industries to Hambantota, with the dual goal of forming a complete industrial ecological chain that will aid industries to move closer to their markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America.

HIP is well positioned to service the East-West routes and is fast gaining hub port status in this region. “We are particularly strong in servicing shipments coming from Korea, Japan, India and China, who are using HIP for transshipment. To the west of Sri Lanka we service ports in Central and South America, East and South Africa and the Middle East. Our goal is to make HIP the gateway port for the southern part of Sri Lanka. The tire manufacturing project alone is expected to generate approximately 2000 job opportunities, an no doubt, industries primarily developed within the port will act as a catalyst for manufacturing plants outside the port, all of which will boost the local economy,” says Ray Ren, CEO of HIPG.

Shandong Haohua Tire Co., the holding company of Ceylon Tire Manufacturing, is a trusted brand for consumers across the world, with their exports spread over 200 countries. The company who specializes in integrated tire research and development, design, sales and other services, had expressed interest in setting up operations in Sri Lanka for some time now, and the industrial park within the Hambantota International Port created the perfect mix for this US $300 million foreign direct investment project. Wang Keqiang, Chairman of the Ceylon Tire Manufacturing Company Pvt Ltd., has stated, that he is confident the project would yield high results and looks forward to spearheading the international operations from Sri Lanka and South Asia. The local operation is targeting an annual production of 9 million tires during its first phase, to be containerised to 45,000 containers.

A land extent of 121 acres within HIP’s industrial park has been allocated for the project, which has received the highest support of the BOI, SLPA and the Sri Lankan government. Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of BOI speaking at the signing ceremony said that the Sri Lankan operation proceeding under the locally incorporated, Ceylon Tire Manufacturing Company Pvt Ltd. would contribute vastly to the development of the country’s rubber, plantations and port industries in Sri Lanka.

Bai Jingtao Vice Chairman of the China Merchants Port Group who was present at the agreement signing said that it is CMPort’s vision to see the Hambantota Port become an integral transit port in South Asia. “We will leverage our expertise in port development and operations in order to continuously improve facilities and equipment in the Hambantota Port. We will provide comprehensive services for enterprises in the industrial park whilst at the same time, improving the port’s operational capacity. With the support of China Merchants global port network and the Sri Lankan Government we have the opportunity to develop the Hambantota Port as a significant integrated transit port in South Asia and together we can make Hambantota one of Sri Lanka’s four multi-dimensional commercial cities.”