Sri Lanka receives pledge from Chinese Ambassador in Colombo of China’s continued support
The government of Sri Lanka has received a pledge from the Chinese government that China would provide further assistance to Sri Lanka.
The pledge of the Chinese government was conveyed by Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong when he recently called on Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris.
Issuing a statement, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry stated that the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) has pledged an urgent emergency humanitarian aid of RMB 200 million to Sri Lanka, including 5000 tonnes of rice (with the previously announced 2000 tonnes), pharmaceuticals, production materials and other essentials. Furthermore, the Yunnan Province has announced a donation of RMB 1.5 million worth of food packages to Sri Lanka.
Minister Peiris had expressed appreciation to China’s continued assistance to Sri Lanka which had begun even before establishing formal diplomatic relations between the two countries and has recalled the Chinese monuments erected in Sri Lanka with the funding of the Chinese Government.
The Chinese Ambassador has also stated that the Embassy of China in Colombo and Beijing were closely monitoring the evolving situation in Sri Lanka and assured that the Chinese Government would continue to extend assistance to Sri Lanka in every possible way including direct Chinese Government support, regional Government support and support through Red Cross China.
Sri Lanka and China enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties that are to be further strengthened by a free trade agreement (FTA). The two countries are currently engaged in discussing the FTA. China is one of Sri Lanka’s key development partners with many Chinese businesses/investors currently engaged in the island’s ongoing development programme and the economic expansion. Sri Lanka is also working towards becoming a business hub in the South Asian region supported by the country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade ties enjoyed by the country. Given the growing business potential in Sri Lanka, Chinese businesses/investors could explore the expanding opportunities in the country while also looking at the possibility of forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses. Sri Lanka also provides a platform for Chinese businesses to engage with other countries.
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