Marking a major step in one of South Asia’s most transformative development projects, Singapore-owned omnichannel retailer, One World Duty Free, and Port City Colombo have signed two agreements to operate Sri Lanka’s first-ever downtown duty-free store.
One World Duty Free (ODF) and the Colombo Port City Economic Commission (Commission) have taken a pivotal step in their alliance this week. At a ceremony held at the Colombo Port City Economic Commission’s office, ODF’s Founder and CEO Ms Keira Zhang and Dr Priyath B. Wickrama, Director General & Commission Member of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission (Commission), ratified their commitment to a strategic partnership aimed at shaping Port City Colombo’s global trajectory.
The partnership was underscored with the formalisation of two critical agreements: an Authorised Person Agreement between ODF and the Commission on 23 May 2023; and a lease agreement between ODF and CHEC Port City Colombo Pvt Ltd (CPCC) on 22 May 2023. These agreements, embodying their shared vision, lay the groundwork for ODF to transform Port City Colombo into an eminent global duty-free retail hub.
Keira Zhang, Founder & CEO of One World Duty Free, commented: “In our partners at Port City Colombo, we recognise a level of ambition which is perfectly aligned with One World Duty Free’s game-changing approach to duty-free retail. The opportunity to showcase our credentials on the world stage and contribute to the creation of a landmark destination in Asia is a key milestone in One World Duty Free’s journey of progressive expansion across Asia.”
One World Duty Free (ODF) – Singapore-owned omnichannel duty-free operator – is set to develop and operate a 1,250 square metre duty free store at Port City Colombo, offering a curated mix of international brands spanning Beauty, Wellness, Spirits & Wines and Fashion. ODF’s first retail store outside of Singapore will be nestled within a 7,000 square metre shopping oasis, Port City Duty Free Mall, primely positioned amidst a throng of international prestige hotels and casinos that promise a diverse and affluent customer base of tourists, expatriates, and locals. Construction of the ODF store is slated to commence from mid-2023, with trading planned to kick off by year’s end. ODF Port City Colombo will offer travellers a purpose-built shopping environment enhanced by the company’s innovative approach to smart retail.
Dr Priyath B. Wickrama, Director General of the Commission and Commission Member of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission, commented: “In order to make our vision for Port City Colombo a reality, we have sought out best-in-class partners that can bring fresh thinking and innovation. One World Duty Free’s technology-led ethos and commitment to delivering memorable consumer experiences will play a critical role in ensuring we deliver a compelling retail offer to travellers from across the world and thus the Commission’s vision of creating Port City Colombo as a world-class touristic shopping destination.”
Anticipating a sustained resurgence in tourist arrivals following the COVID crisis, Port City Colombo is set to accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic development by creating a new gateway to South Asia through a range of state-of-the-art infrastructure, including commercial and residential buildings, recreational facilities, a financial district, and a modern transportation network. Developed in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, and CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd (CPCC) as a public-private partnership, Port City Colombo is Sri Lanka’s biggest FDI-funded development project to date. With major investment plans for travel retail, entertainment, and leisure facilities in partnership with renowned international players, such as Singapore’s ODF, Port City Colombo is slated to become a prime tourism and shopping choice on par with landmark destinations such as Singapore and Dubai.
Together, ODF and the Commission are charting a bold and innovative course for the future, reinforcing their shared vision of driving Port City Colombo’s ascent on the global stage. Both parties stand poised to redefine the economic future of Port City Colombo, taking it from a burgeoning commercial nucleus to a premier duty-free retail hotspot.