Sri Lanka, China discuss economic revival, COVID-19 assistance
The Foreign Ministry facilitated a high-level Chinese delegation of a key Political Bureau Member of the Communist Party and Diplomat Yang Jiechi along with the Chairman of China’s International Development Cooperation Agency Wang Xiatao and Chinese Foreign Ministry official Cheng Song to arrive in Sri Lanka.
The delegation held discussions with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 9, in the presence of Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and other Government Ministers and dignitaries.
The leaders recalled the catalytic role played by the Chinese FDI projects in Sri Lanka valued at over USD 3 billion, and the significant employment opportunities the projects have so far generated.
The delegation and the Government underscored the importance of concluding the projects early towards reaping benefits from the full potential of these mega Foreign Direct Investments in the country.
The President thanked the delegation for the valuable assistance and support consistently made available by the Chinese Government.
The leaders expressed their gratitude for the continued support and solidarity extended to Sri Lanka during the humanitarian operation in the north, and China’s steadfast support in the Human Rights Council in trying times.
The Government requested the Chinese leaders to facilitate market access to some of Sri Lanka’s unique commodities that could find demand in the Chinese domestic market towards increasing the trade turnover and improving the trade balance, which is in favour of China.
They agreed the export basket to China need to be reviewed to increase the trade volume and the need to resume negotiations on the stalled talks on the Sri Lanka–China FTA.
The first ever visit by Chinese leaders, during the COVID-19 pandemic to Colombo was organised under strict compliance of the health protocol – an air-bubble concept, of the Health Ministry.