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 British High Commissioner visits Hambantota


British High Commissioner, John Rankin, began a three day visit to the Southern Province yesterday.

The first day of the High Commissioner's visit to the south had a strong business focus. Commenting on the trade and investment opportunities in the Southern Province, the High Commissioner said: "I am delighted to be making my first visit to the Southern Province. A key part of my job is to promote bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and the UK and the deep South offers many exciting new commercial opportunities.

The Southern Province demonstrates visibly the Sri Lankan government's efforts to develop regional economies. The new port and new airport in Hambantota offer significant opportunities in diverse business areas, including cargo and shipping, tourism and the service sector.

"The growing focus on sport in Hambantota also offers up opportunities for trade between Sri Lanka and the UK. I visited today the impressive Mahinda Rajapaksa stadium, one of the venues for the recent ICC Cricket World Cup, and the proposed sites for the upcoming Asian beach games.

Hambantota is also bidding to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paraolympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have generated new investment opportunities in the UK.

For example, contracts worth Sterling pounds 300 million (53 Billion Rs) are on offer in the final stages of the approach to London 2012. If Hambantota is successful in its bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the UK hopes to share some of the expertise and experience we have gained in preparing for London 2012 and Glasgow 2014."

The High Commissioner visited the Mahinda Rajapaksa International cricket stadium; sites for proposed tourist ventures; the new international airport; the new seaport; and sites connected with the upcoming Asian beach games.

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