Chinese envoy to Sri Lanka reassures China’s support to Sri Lanka
Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong has reassured China’s support to Sri Lanka during a recent meeting with Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister M.U.M. Ali Sabry.
Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry issued a statement following the meeting stating that a discussion was held on the current areas of cooperation between the two countries and also the way forward in managing the current economic issues.
Ambassador Zhenhong had reportedly reiterated China’s full support to Sri Lanka in resolving the present economic issues and also reiterated that China clearly supports Sri Lanka’s decision to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in restructuring its debt.
Ambassador Zhenhong had also assured Minister Sabry that as a major shareholder of the IMF, China is willing to play an active role in encouraging the IMF to positively consider Sri Lanka’s position and to reach an agreement as soon as possible. He further spoke of the recent fruitful telephone conversation between the two Premiers of China and Sri Lanka, according to the Finance Ministry statement.
As for the request on restructuring bilateral debt, the Chinese envoy had stated that China will actively support discussions with the relevant financial institutions and departments to resolve maturing debts issues.
Sri Lanka and China enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties. China is also a key development partner of Sri Lanka with many investments in large scale development programmes in the country. Sri Lanka and China are also engaged in discussions to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) that would further strengthen trade ties between the two countries. Sri Lanka also figures prominently in China’s belt and road initiative (BRI) while the country is also working towards positioning itself as a growing business destination in the South Asian region. All these are positive signs for Chinese businesses/investors to explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as concessions also add to Sri Lanka’s attraction as a business/investment hub. Chinese businesses could set up base in Sri Lanka to engage with other countries in the region.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/06052022/Z_7|