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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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MoU with Mahindra & Mahindra for new BOI IT Park

Huge achievement for country - Navin:

The BOI has entered into an agreement with the Indian Infrastructure development giant Mahindra and Mahindra for a new IT Park at Katunayake.


Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion shakes hands with Arun Nanda, Vice Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra after the MoU was signed to set up an IT Park at Katunayake. Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce of India and Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Investment Promotion are also in the picture.

The Agreement was signed by Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, whose Ministry oversees the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, and Arun Nanda, Vice Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra.

The IT Park at Katunayake will be on a 53 acre land that was identified as the site for a future IT park by the BOI.

The land will yield 2.6- 3 million sq. feet of space that can be used for the different types of IT related activities.

The site would be built and managed by Mahindra and Mahindra and the company would market the site, making space available to investors in the IT, BPO and IT enabled services sectors. The rationale behind this new agreement is to use the expertise of Mahindra and Mahindra to build the site in association with the Board of Investment.

Arun Nanda, Vice Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra said that the main strength of his company was its ability to bring to the new IT zone top level IT companies from India and other countries.

He said, " The project will create 25,000 new software jobs in Sri Lanka, which is a ten-fold increase of Sri Lanka's current pool of IT workers".

In addition, there are another 5,000 other employment opportunities from support services.

Nanda said that the IT Zone in Katunayake will eventually create 60,000-70,000 indirect job opportunities, as the site will become a magnet for a wide range of activities. Dr. Amunugama said, "We are very happy to have entered into this agreement.

We have had a long relationship with M & M. The IT industry is a US$ 1 billion industry for Sri Lanka. M& M will undertake the total integrated development of the IT Park. It will be open for companies to invest". "I am very confident that some of the big players in the IT industry will invest here", he said.

Jairam Ramesh, India's State Minister of Commerce, and Senior officials of the Indian High Commission and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka were also present.

Investment Promotion Minister Navin Dissanayake told the Sunday Observer that this is a huge achievement for the country as it will create a lot of job opportunities for our talented youth and help develop our country as an IT hub.

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