China to annually donate USD 100 million to Sri Lanka between 2018-2020
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xiangliang has reaffirmed his country’s commitment towards strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries while speaking at the 2nd Sri Lanka Broadband Forum co-sponsored by Huawei.
He has further noted that more donations will be forthcoming for introducing innovations and technology to Sri Lanka so that it can fulfil its goal of becoming South Asia’s ICT hub.
Yi has added that his government had pledge an annual donation of USD 100 million to be granted for the next three years.
“Last May, my President Xi Jinping had a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and announced from 2018 to 2020 China will donate USD 100 million per year to support different sectors of the economy, including innovation progress,” he has stated.
Between 2014-2017 China has donated Yuan 1.5 billion towards several Sri Lankan projects. In addition USD 10 million had been spent on providing training and scholarships in China to around 2,000 Sri Lankans.
“We often talk about Sri Lanka becoming the financial, logistics and service hub; we should not forget to become the telecommunication hub in South Asia. So, in the next few years China will use a significant proportion of the percentage of donations to Sri Lanka for innovation and technology development. China has no hesitation to support Sri Lanka to become the information and telecommunication partner in this region,” the ambassador has said.
“In a recent visit to the North Central Province, I met an official from the US. She said China has not made enough donations to Sri Lanka and the US is the greatest donator to the country. Might be because according to the United Nation’s rule, developed countries should donate at 0.7% to developing countries. China is a developing country, but we do what we can and we do what we say. We are open and transparent because we are human beings,” he has added.
In reference to the Hambantota Port Agreement, Yi has said that matters of commerce should never be made into political issues as it may result in the destruction of economic collaboration and negatively affect the advantages that citizen’s may enjoy from it.
“The China-Sri Lanka relationship goes back over 1,600 years according to historic writing. Our relationship is inclusive and transparent. We do what we can and we do what we say,” he has said.
An annual donation of USD 100 million may be used by the GoSL towards infrastructure or other project expenditure that may allow businesses to benefit from either through PPPs or calls for bids for goods and/or services.
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