Sri Lanka will be calling for international competitive bids for its first urban railway project, that would connect the centre of the capital city Colombo to its suburbs.
The 30km rail project is likely to begin in 2019.
Sri Lanka's Board of Investment chairman Upul Jayasuriya was quoted by the Nikkei as saying that the government is planning either monorails or subways for the project, which is estimated to cost $2.5bn.
Jayasuriya was on a visit to Japan to consult with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on a feasibility study, and attract Japanese companies to the project.
Earlier this year, the JICA completed a feasibility study on the introduction of urban railways in Sri Lanka.
Interested consortiums or companies have been notified to submit their bids, which will be accepted by the end of this month.
The eligible parties should be capable of carrying out civil engineering work, delivering railway signalling systems, and operating trains.
Recently, Japan lost a major high-speed rail contract in Indonesia to China after a tough fight. The multi-billion dollar contract was awarded to China, amid protests from the Japanese Government.
Image: Colombo is planning to introduce an urban rail system by 2019. Photo: courtesy of Lanil Marasinghe / Wikipedia.