clock December 24,2023

Downtown Duty-Free mall at port city Colombo geared up for opening as operators get BSI status

Port City Colombo announced that China Duty Free (CDF) and One World Duty Free (ODF) have been granted status as Businesses of Strategic Importance (BSI) by the Cabinet, according to an official Cabinet media statement released on 10th July 2024. This approval paves the way for the commencement of travel retail operations at the upcoming Downtown Duty-Free Mall. 

Discussing the significance of this milestone, Mr. Xiong Hongfeng, Managing Director, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd said, “We are pleased to announce that our duty-free partners, China Duty Free and One World Duty Free, have successfully obtained BSI status and received approval from the Cabinet. Our partners are now empowered to operate within the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone, allowing for the eagerly anticipated opening of the Downtown Duty-Free Mall to go ahead before the close of Q3 2024. We look forward to this, and to many other important developments in due course, with many prospective global investors ready to invest in Sri Lanka through Port City Colombo.”

Being the pioneering duty-free mall concept in Sri Lanka, the Downtown Duty-Free Mall at Port City Colombo is set to feature world-renowned travel retail operators. Capitalising on the city’s prime location and connectivity to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), the Downtown Duty-Free Mall will showcase unparalleled convenience and a diversity of brands that will appeal to the modern-day traveller. The Downtown Duty-Free Mall promises to transform Colombo into a leading travel retail hotspot in the South Asian region, which will emulate the success of other competitive downtown duty-free markets including Singapore, Australia, and China. 

China Duty Free and One World Duty Free, both acclaimed global travel retail giants, will soon begin operations at Port City Colombo, further bolstering the project’s emergence as a tourism hub. China Duty Free, in particular, is ranked as the world’s number one travel retailer, having recorded a revenue of USD 9.3 billion in 2023, according to a recently released Moodie Davit Report.

The forthcoming opening of the Downtown Duty-Free Mall is anticipated to draw increased tourist traffic, showcasing a unique shopping experience with its upscale travel retail offerings and competitive pricing strategy. Along with CDF and ODF, a third international luxury duty-free brand is set to explore a collaboration at this revolutionary duty-free mall concept, providing travellers arriving in Sri Lanka significantly more choice. 

The Downtown Duty-Free Mall will also be complemented by a curation of duty-paid brands and dining experiences, including Nihonbashi by Dharshan, Spa Ceylon, Café Chill, and so forth. 

These developments underscore the swift pace of progress at Port City Colombo, heralding a new era of economic growth and international appeal for Sri Lanka. Port City Colombo’s strategic location, combined with the introduction of premier travel retail establishments such as CDF and ODF, is thus set to redefine the shopping and tourism landscape in South Asia. 


Poised to redefine Sri Lanka’s economic and societal landscape, Port City Colombo (PCC) is a visionary multi-billion dollar FDI-funded project located at the very heart of the South Asian region — the vibrant, thriving metropolis of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Positioned as the gateway to South Asia, it offers a unique combination of global investment opportunities, international business environments, world-class infrastructure, and sustainable yet cosmopolitan living. As a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), PCC will feature a business-friendly environment including tax incentives and exemptions for a 25+ year period for Businesses of Strategic Importance (BSI’s), and transactions in foreign currencies, with no capital or exchange controls, and up to 100 percent foreign ownership. With upcoming developments such as Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC), the luxury yacht marina retail and lifestyle offerings projected to break ground soon, PCC aims to emulate the successful economic models of Dubai or Singapore, whilst reinforcing the broader commitment to sustainability and liveability. 

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Press Contact

Rebekah Adams

Manager - Public Relations and Marketing Communications

CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd

+94 (0) 75 166 5578 | 

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