Sri Lanka launched the development of Trincomalee port with the Singaporean infrastructure consultancy, Surbana Jurong on Wednesday.
The programme, which was signed in June 2016, plans to develop 1363 sq km in Trincomalee into a centre for tourism, leisure and exports.
Speaking at the launch event, Sri Lanka's prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe said "at the present time, when considering the economic development of the Indian Ocean, the Colombo Port as well as the Hambantota Port will earn a special place. And countries such as India, Pakistan and Iran will also be important. We hope to earn more economic benefits by providing services to ships navigating through Suez Canal to Singapore."
"By the year 2050, the population in the Bay of Bengal region will be about three billion, and then there will be great improvements. By that time, we need to develop Trincomalee as the Eastern Gateway to Sri Lanka," he was quoyed by the Colombo Page as saying.
"We have received assistance from Asian Development Bank to extend development to Trincomalee based on the Western and Eastern economic corridors of Sri Lanka, Construction of the highway from Kandy to Trincomalee and for the development of Trincomalee through the Surbana Jurong plan prepared according to the reports we provided," he added.