Thursday, 25 May 2023 03:22 –      – 30

One World Duty Free Founder and CEO Keira Zhang (left) and CHEC Port City Colombo Managing Director Yang Lu exchange the lease agreement signed, others (from left) are Colombo Port City Economic Commission Director, Commercial and Operations Dimantha Kinigama, Member and Director General Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama and CHECH Port City Colombo Deputy Managing Director Eric Ou 


  • Signs agreements to operate Sri Lanka’s first downtown Duty Free store; its first outside Singapore 

Colombo Port City Economic Commission Member and Director General Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama and One World Duty Free Founder and CEO Keira Zhang exchange Authorised Person Agreement



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.

The connected agreements were ratified with ODF committing 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 and a lease agreement between ODF and CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd (CPCC). These agreements, embodying their shared vision, lay the groundwork for ODF to transform Port City Colombo into an eminent global duty-free retail hub.

One World Duty Free Founder and CEO Keira Zhang said: “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 and 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, primly 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.

Colombo Port City Economic Commission member and Director General Dr Priyath B. Wickrama said: “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, 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 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.