HomeRegional GeopoliticsSri Lanka leases China-built Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport to Indian, Russian firms...

Sri Lanka leases China-built Mattala Rajapaksa Int’l Airport to Indian, Russian firms amid debt woes

Source : WION

Sri Lanka leases China-built Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport to Indian, Russian firms amid debt woes
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA)

As Sri Lanka is trying to recover from the implications of China’s ‘debt diplomacy’, the country’s cabinet has announced the transfer of management for its $209 million Chinese-funded airport to two foreign companies, including one Indian. This move has been taken in a bid to mitigate losses incurred by state-owned enterprises.

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), constructed with financing from China EXIM Bank, has faced challenges since its inauguration in 2013, including minimal flights and environmental concerns.

According to a cabinet statement released on Friday (Apr 26), Shaurya Aeronautics (Pvt) Ltd of India and Airports of Regions Management Company of Russia will oversee the airport’s operations for a period of 30 years.

However, specific financial details were not disclosed in the statement, media reports said.

In a bid to address its mounting debt and to bring about economic reform, Sri Lanka is also in talks with China EXIM Bank to restructure the loan associated with the airport. Sri Lanka’s default on foreign debt in May 2022 brought the country to its most severe financial crisis in over seven decades.

A $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provided some stability.

Bandula Gunawardana, government spokesperson, confirmed the lease agreement. Only a handful of four companies expressed interest in managing the airport, situated near a wildlife sanctuary on the southern coast and currently devoid of scheduled flights.

Named after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who fostered closer ties with China during his tenure, the airport is facing challenges. Amid concerns about the airport’s viability, compounded by its location on a bird migratory route, several airlines have ceased operations there, contributing to its financial struggles.

Sri Lanka’s decision to lease the airport follows a pattern of privatising state-owned enterprises to alleviate financial burdens.

Hambantota Port

The move also draws attention to Sri Lanka’s handing over of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese state-owned company in 2017 on a 99-year lease as it struggled to repay the loans taken to build the port. This move raised concerns about China’s growing influence in the region and its ability to use debt as a means of exerting control over strategic assets.

(With inputs from agencies)

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat

All

Estonia promotes tech sharing, joint production with Indian defence companies

Tallinn: NATO member Estonia, known for its expertise in IT and cyber security, is seeking closer cooperation with India when it comes to jointly...

GRSE share price: GRSE secures export order worth $54 mn from German co for commercial vessels

Defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd on saturday signed an agreement with Carsten Rehder Schiffsmakler and Reederei GmbH and Co. KG,...

AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Updates

AMCA to be integrated with sophisticated indigenous Distributed Aperture System (DAS) that making it a formidable air asset for the Indian Air Force

Source : IgMp Bureau India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is on the brink of a revolutionary transformation with the integration of a sophisticated Distributed...

AMCA to incorporate the best features of both 5th and 6th Generation fighters: ADA sources

Source : IgMp Bureau India's strides toward indigenous air dominance receive a substantial boost with the green signal for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)...

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Archive Months

Miscellanous

80 Naxals killed, 125 arrested, 150 surrendered in Chhattisgarh in last 4 months

New Delhi, At least 80 Naxals have been killed and more than 125 arrested while 150 have surrendered in this year so far in...

India, EU discuss progress in Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Tokyo: Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday discussed progress in India-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations with European Commission’s Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. “Discussed progress...

Netanyahu on US threat to withhold arms: Israel will fight with its ‘fingernails’ if needed

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that a U.S. threat to withhold some arms would not prevent Israel from continuing its offensive in Gaza,...

DRDO plans to incorporate SAAW into a Mother Missile For Enhanced Multiple Precision Strikes

Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU) DRDO plans to incorporate SAAW into a Mother Missile For Enhanced Multiple Precision Strikes DRDO is planning to incorporate the...
Visits
error: Content is protected !!