Chinese president pledges 2 billion yuan to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will receive 2 Billion Yuan (290 million US Dollars) as a development assistance for the period form 2018- 2020. The funds that will be allocated to Sri Lanka is an addition to the already committed 400 Million Yuan grant by China to Sri Lanka for this year for economic and technical co-operations.
The 2 billion yuan funds were pledged by the Chinese President in his meeting with Sri Lankan Prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe in Beijing. He expressed that China will continue to support the processes ongoing in Sri Lanka for unity, reconciliation, economic development and peace.
This news came in time for marking for 60 year diplomatic ties between the two countries and also marking the 65th anniversary for the Rubber – Rice Pact between the two countries. The Chinese president expressed in some detail the need for both countries to continue to strengthen the relations between them. He stated that the way forward in common development and prosperity could only be achieved through international unity.
The Chinese president reiterated his view on expanding the Sino – Sri Lankan relations in a wide array of fields which include but not limited to Industrial Zones, aviation, naval services and tourism. He also called for enhanced relations between scholars, professionals and academic institutions as well as religious leaders of the two countries.
China has been considerably involved in the development of Sri Lankan economy in recent times, with several large-scale development projects funded by China. Hambantota Airport and Harbour as well as the Port City are Chinese funded projects. Though a bulk of these projects were carried out when the previous administration was in place, China has continued to invest in Sri Lanka in the development projects of the present administration as well being involved heavily particularly in developing industrial zones as well providing grants for development projects.
The pledge by China to provide 2 Billion Yuan although may not be as large scale a project as many of their previous investments have been, it is important to note this was the second such grant that was made available to Sri Lanka within a short span of time. The earlier 400 Million grant was granted some months before. The pledge confirms china’s commitment to be involved in Sri Lankan development projects and is also an endorsement towards the present economic conditions and particularly an indication that China is viewing Sri Lanka as a valuable stakeholder in the One Belt One Road policy.
The area in which these funds will be utilized has not yet been made available to the public domain however, this is certain to boost investor confidence in the Country, particularly for investors from China and investors banking on increased Chinese economic activity in and around Sri Lanka.
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