The value of bilateral trade in 2018 between China and Sri Lanka has exceeded 405 billion U.S dollars.
Yang Zuoyuan, Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka said that in recent years the economic and trade cooperation between both countries has yielded fruitful results.
He was speaking at the 18th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – China Business Council (SLCHBC) of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo.
SLCHBC was established on April 26, 2001, and formed under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The Council was formed at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the main objective of promoting trade, investment, services and tourism between Sri Lanka and China.
Thulitha Mendis, Director – Commercial, Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC was elected as the President of the Council for the year 2019-2020.
In his address Mendis mentioned that 2018-2019 has been an eventful year and outlined some of the significant activities the council had undertaken during this period.
“Whilst world economy grew by 3.6% in year 2018 Chinese economy grew by 6.6% with a marginal drop over previous year. With a strong economic condition in we believe we would be able to draw more FDI’s from China in years to come. The Ambassador had mentioned that there is a substantial increase of Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka and currently ranks top among foreign tourist to Sri Lanka. However, he points out that the language barrier and Chinese travelers’ strong preference to Chinese food are major concerns of further growing these numbers. We believe that we could find solutions for these concerns in order to reach higher tourist arrivals in time to come and council work towards the same” he said.
Yang Zuoyuan stated that China and Sri Lanka enjoy a long – standing traditional friendship dating back to 1600 years ago and the signing of the famous “Rice – Rubber Pact’ in 1952 symbolized the mutual trust and the interdependence of the two countries.
“In recent years, our economic and trade cooperation has yielded fruitful results. The value of bilateral trade in 2018 has exceeded 405 billion U.S dollars. Tourist arrivals from China reached 266,000. As you can see a stronger socio – economic partnership is being built, which will bring more benefits to our two peoples,” he said.
runa Perera – Lanka Shipping and Logistics (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the Senior Vice President and Chaminda Perera – Associated Motorways Ltd as the Vice President. Mr. Ruwan Senaviratne – Stretchline (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the Treasurer of SLCHBC.
Lasantha Wickremasooriya – AG Masters (Pvt) Ltd will serve as the Immediate Past President. The event provided an ideal opportunity for members to network with other Council Members, Embassy Officials and other Government Institutions.
Abans PLC, Cosco Lanka Pvt Ltd, David Pieris Motor Company Ltd, Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd, John Keells Holdings PLC, KPMG, Prima Ceylon (Private) Ltd, Sinwa Holdings Ltd, Sunshine Tea (Pvt) Ltd and Zam Gems Private Ltdwere elected from the membership to serve on the Executive Committee of the Council.