Reasons to have my placement in Sri Lanka

working opportunity and environment of Sri Lanka

What is Belt & Road initiative? 

Belt & Road initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a significant development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the intention of promoting economic co-operation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes. The Initiative has been designed to enhance the orderly free-flow of economic factors and the efficient allocation of resources. It is also intended to further market integration and create a regional economic co-operation framework of benefit to all.

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to connect Asia, Europe, and Africa along five routes. The Silk Road Economic Belt focusses on (1) linking China to Europe through Central Asia and Russia; (2) connecting China with the Middle East through Central Asia; and (3) bringing together China and Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, meanwhile, focused on using Chinese coastal ports to (4) link China with Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean; and (5) connect China with the South Pacific Ocean through the South China Sea.

Operation Zhang Qian

Many internship opportunities are derived from the development Belt & Road initiative, which Operation Zhang Qian is one of the placement programmes. Unlike other internship programs, Operation Zhang Qian doesn’t require participants to pay any participation fee or expenses. Students could even receive an allowance from the host companies. Not only do they offer positions in Mainland China, but also placement from countries along the Belt & Road, such as Sri Lanka, Greece, and the Czech Republic. I could the application process is quite competitive and it is my pleasure to be one of the representatives to intern in Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd, the project of China Merchants Port Holdings.

Why Colombo

Colombo port is selected as the first project of China Merchants Port Holdings because of the transshipment position of Sri Lanka. CICT is the only deep-water seaport, which implies that Indian shippers have to rely on the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka for their international transshipment. Despite the rapid economic growth and powerful purchasing power of India, there is no deep water port in India.

Anyway, I didn’t know anything about this. I went there simply because it is cool to visit Sri Lanka haha. Compared to other nearby countries like Maldives and India, Sri Lanka is less known among the public.

Colombo International Container Terminals

It is a joint venture Company between China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited. (CMPH) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Under a 35-year Build Operate and Transfer Agreement with SLPA, Colombo’s third container terminal with a 2.4 million thus capacity was constructed in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, under the Colombo South Harbour expansion project. CMPH holds 85% of the partnership whilst the balance 15% is being held by SLPA. The development of the company drives from the Belt & Road initiative.

I was being rotated in different departments and received a series of training in operation department. Some interesting experiences include getting closed to all female staff since 95% of CICT staff are male, excited but also thrilled to have lunch with the management teams of CICT (They are all Chinese and we have our own Chinese canteen, realized that I am not scared of heights when I went up the Quad Crane.

read more about my story in Sri Lanka:

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