Adani Group, India’s largest private port operator, signed what has been reported as a $700 Million investment to build a new container terminal in Sri Lanka. The deal to jointly develop the Colombo West International Container Terminal (CWICT) with Sri Lanka’s largest listed company, John Keells Holdings and the Sri Lankan Ports Authority, will function under a “build-operate-transfer” arrangement for 35 years.
Adani Ports will hold a 51 per cent stake in the terminal partnership, while John Keells would hold 34 per cent and the SLPA 15 per cent.
Now, in a turn of events, USA has decided to invest in Adani’s ports to curb the Chinese influence. USA will reportedly invest a whopping $553 Million to send the Chinese a clear message about their hegemonic expansion plans in South Asia Pacific.
The project is billed as providing critical infrastructure for the South Asian nation with the potential to “transform Colombo into a world-class logistics hub at the intersection of major shipping routes and emerging markets,” according to the USA International Development Finance Corp (DFC).
The DFC loan of $553 million for the West Container Terminal will “expand its shipping capacity, creating greater prosperity for Sri Lanka — without adding to sovereign debt — while at the same strengthening the position of our allies across the region,” said DFC Chief Executive Officer Scott Nathan.
The announcement comes as Sri Lanka is struggling to recover from a dire financial and economic crisis.
The Port of Colombo has been operating near its capacity since 2021, and the new terminal will cater to growing economies in the Bay of Bengal, the DFC said.
The DFC will make a direct loan to the consortium developing the terminal, which is 51% owned by India’s largest port operator, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zones Ltd.
The proposed site for a $553-million project to build a new, deep-water shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Nov.8, 2023. The U.S. announced a $553- million project Wednesday to build a new, deep-water shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo as it competes with China in international development financing. (AP Photo)
Why is Adani & USA’s investment in Sri Lanka so important for India?
China has always been keen on expanding its wings especially in South Asia Pacific. Be it building the Hambantota Port or the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). All of this has had an ulterior motive; curb India.
If one can analyse China’s debt luring policy has almost all big names under its direct control. Investments in Pakistan have not been repaid by the Pakistanis but Beijing is normal with that, because when the time comes, Pakistan will be China’s direct arm.
Similarly with Sri Lanka; Both the countries share the southern coast. A few weeks back China’s Shi Yan 6 was docked at the Lankan Port despite of India raising her concerns.
The $1.4 billion project to build an integrated resort and casino and conference center zone, a marina, apartments, a business district and green space has raised concerns in Sri Lanka and India that the development could become a virtual Chinese outpost or colony.
China has had a diabolical plan all along when it comes to India. Beijing does know that if there is, any country who can curb their influence in South Asia Pacific, it is indeed India.
As a result of which, India was successful to create an alliance with Japan, Australia and the USA named Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) commonly abbreviated as QUAD.
The sole purpose of this alliance is to understand China’s movement in the Indo-pacific region and eliminate any possibility of circumstances taking a sharp turn.
Adani’s investment in Sri Lanka gives India an opening to have a close eye on activities orchestrated by Beijing in Sri Lanka. Alongside USA’s decisive investment; India’s position against China strengthens and Beijing is given a response in its own way.