Sri Lanka will bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, says the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India, Mr Prasad Kariyawasam. This could lead to a $5-billion investment opportunity for Indian firms to exploit.“The city that we are proposing (for the Games) is Hambantota. In case we win the bid we will require massive investment to put up facilities as we are trying to build from scratch.
“If we win the bid, then there will be a lot of opportunity in the construction sector for all, and naturally India being the closest neighbour with the capacity will be very competitive in terms of getting contracts because they might be able to deliver at cost effective prices,” Mr Kariyawasam said.
He pointed out that India would enjoy a cost advantage because of its close proximity to Sri Lanka. “Indians will also have an understanding of how to handle the manpower even if they do not want to bring in their own manpower,” the High Commissioner said.
At the moment, India is among the four largest overall investors in Sri Lanka with total investments in the vicinity of $400 million.
The major investors include Tata, CEAT, Ultratech Cements, IOC, Airtel and Ashok Leyland.
A decision on the city to host the games is expected in the next few months. Gold Coast in Australia is the other contender city.