COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Thursday launched the first phase of the construction of 'Techno City' in the outskirts of the national capital, which will be the “technological hub” of the ambitious multi-billion dollar Western Province Megapolis project.
Wickremesinghe said that the Techno City, along with the Financial City in the Center of Colombo, will exploit Sri Lanka’ strategic location in the Indian Ocean region to secure Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on a massive scale and spur local industries and investments. The 'Techno City' located in Homagama also aims to uplift the living standards of people in Colombo and its outskirts.
The Prime Minister invited Sri Lankan academics and professionals residing overseas to return to the country and help develop the nation.
"I do not think there is any other country which is as well located as Sri Lanka. Our aim is to now transform this country into a strong economic and technological hub and the Techno City is our first step towards it," Wickremesinghe said.
The area from Malabe to Homagama in the Western Province has been seen as the most suitable place for the construction of Techno City as it is heavily populated and is a bustling trading hub.
The Malabe area will be divided into three technical zones and Homagama into seven technical zones, the government said.
Sri Lanka's science and technology institutions, such as University of Moratuwa, University of Sri Jayawardhenapura, University of Colombo, Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies and the National Science Center will commence projects in Techno City. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is to grant 25 acres to each university and 10 acres to each technical institution involved in Techno City.
The Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Champika Rnawaka, said that issues such as unemployment, poverty and the lack of opportunities for the youth which pose a great threat to the country's economy will be addressed through these development projects.
The 'Techno City' will implement green technologies and maintain an eco-friendly environment while going in for the latest technologies.