Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is planning to construct a third international airport in Trincomalee in a bid to make the district the 'Eastern Gateway into the Bay of Bengal', authorities said on Thursday.
"When you look back at Sri Lanka's history, we were a hub in the Indian Ocean where there were several ports," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said while unveiling the project.
"Countries in the Bay of Bengal region will fast develop within the next 20 years. By 2050 the population in this region is expected to reach three billion. Therefore, we have to consider Trincomalee as the Eastern Gateway," Xinhua news agency quoted Wickremesinghe as saying.
Jaffna province was also next in line to see major development plans, he added.
Under the plan, Trincomalee would be converted into an export hub by creating a clean industrial ecosystem, which can add value to the already abundant agriculture, aquaculture, minerals and resources in its hinterland.
It would also be re-positioned as the Eastern Tourism Hub and made into an eastern logistics centre.