The Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said that a high level delegation will be visiting China next week to sign the agreement.
“China-Sri Lanka relations are historic and long standing. Silk route connectivity is only one part of this long history. China is one of the biggest product suppliers to Sri Lanka as well. Of Sri Lanka’s $4 Bn total trade China in 2015, $3.7 Bn were imports from China. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are very keen on the FTA,” he said.
Bathiudeen was addressing a visiting six member official delegation from the Yunnan Province in China led by Gao Shuxun, the senior advisor to Yunnan Province administration.
Shuxun handed over an official invitation extended by Yunnan Governor Chen Hao for the 24th Kunming Fair in June.
“Last year Yunnan’s trade with Sri Lanka was $83 million while Sri Lanka’s exports to Yunnan was just half-a-million dollars. Yunnan investors have invested in four projects in Sri Lanka. By 2015 Yunnan’s contracted projects with Sri Lanka was valued at a total of $390 million. Sri Lankan investors also have invested in one enterprise in Yunnan to the value of $60000. We are happy to observe that Lankan businesses and exporters’ increasing participation in the Kunming Fair,” Gao Shuxun said.
According to Sri Lanka’s Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s overall trade with China in 2015 was at $4 billion, up by 12% from 2014. Sri Lanka’s exports to China increased by 69% in 2015, and imports rose by 9%. (Colombo Gazette)