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Chinese company signs over 500 mln USD tourism deals in Sri Lanka

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COLOMBO, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- A top Chinese company has signed up to build two hotels and a golf course with investment exceeding 500 million U.S. dollars on the sidelines of the Commonwealth leaders' summit here on Thursday, an official said.

China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) has signed agreements to build a golf course at a resort in the southern Sri Lankan town of Mattala.

The company will also construct a 250-room hotel and tax-free shopping complex also in Mattala, Sri Lanka's Airport and Aviation Services Executive Director Johanne Jayaratne told reporters.

The company built a 209-million-U.S.-dollar international airport in Mattala funded by the Chinese government, which was opened earlier this year.

The Sri Lankan government hopes to convert the town into a tourist and investment hotspot.

The third project will be a 200-room transit hotel in Katunayake, which will also have a 1,000-car park and tax free shopping facilities, he said.

"A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between CHEC and the Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Business Forum," he noted.

The Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) took place in Sri Lanka ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to attract investment to the country.

The accumulative cost of the projects is expected to be between 540 million U.S. dollars and 640 million U.S. dollars.

Jayaratne went on to say that a detailed feasibility study is underway to determine the exact cost of the investment projects.

CHEC is an international contractor that is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

CHEC has 50 overseas branches and offices with business activities covering more than 80 countries and regions.

The company is currently employing over 8,000 domestic and international staff to undertake 10 billion U.S. dollars worth of projects.

CHEC is also involved in several other projects in Sri Lanka estimated at over 1 billion U.S. dollars including road construction and the second phase of a 1.2-billion-U.S.-dollar harbor also funded by the Chinese government.

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