Sri Lanka is the latest country to visit Gothenburg to gather experience about sustainable urban development. “Gothenburg’s development and green system solutions attract a great deal of interest; we’re inundated with enquiries at the moment,” says Sofia Mc Conell, Business Developer at Green Gothenburg, Business Region Göteborg.

In 2017, international interest in Gothenburg’s urban development projects has gained additional momentum. Green Gothenburg and Business Region Göteborg have arranged programmes for presidents, ministers and other visitors. And now Sri Lanka has also sent a delegation of ministers.

Patali Champika Ranawaka is the minister responsible for Sri Lanka’s largest urban development project – Western Region Megapolis. On 8–9 June, he was in Gothenburg to hear about the city’s experiences and gather inspiration, as well as to offer business opportunities to trade and industry in the Gothenburg region.

Gothenburg and the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo have much in common. For example, just like Gothenburg, Colombo is the largest port in its region, as well as the main financial hub. Both cities have the largest national urban development projects too. Gothenburg is building RiverCity, or Älvstaden in Swedish, and Colombo is building Western Region Megapolis.

During the visit, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka talked about the contact that has long existed between our two countries, Sweden and Sri Lanka, and the fact that we have much in common, a similar mindset.

 “We are a liberal country, we stand up for equality, equal opportunities and the environment,” said Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Western Region Megapolis.

Patali continued, explaining that Sri Lanka, like Sweden, has a high standard of living with free healthcare and a stable government, enabling Westerners to easily navigate life in Sri Lanka.  The nation also wants to broaden its industry and is seeking support from Europe in the shape of investments.

 “We would encourage Swedes to set a foot-print in our industry,” said Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Western Region Megapolis.

Together with Business Region Göteborg, the delegation held a seminar to which Swedish companies were invited to hear about the business opportunities offered by Western Region Megapolis. Several companies even took the chance to pitch their products and services during the meeting.

“We’re hoping to spread inspiration and to help our companies establish new business contacts,” says Sofia Mc Conell.

Gothenburg has made the journey from polluted industrial city to a knowledge-based economy with high-tech industries over the past 40 years. The city has also dealt with several environmental problems that have resulted in modern-day Gothenburg boasting many well-developed green system solutions.

Now the city is undergoing further transformation as RiverCity begins to take shape right in the centre of Gothenburg. The goal is a sustainable and smart city that will once again flourish alongside the river. 25,000 new homes, 45,000 workplaces and new infrastructure are planned for completion by 2035.


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