Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Luo Zhaohui said that the Chinese Foreign Ministry will proactively support efforts to increase Chinese tourism to Sri Lanka and more businesses, including SOEs, to invest in the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Industrial Zone.
The Vice Minister acknowledged that it was time for these two Chinese supported ventures to get off the ground.
He expressed these views when he met Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China, Dr. Palitha Kohona.
Vice Minister Luo warmly welcomed the Ambassador and stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China will continue to extend its fullest support to the Ambassador in Beijing and effusively acknowledged his long standing connections with China.
The long discussion that followed included cooperation and mutual support in international fora, in economic matters for post Covid-19 recovery, effective management of the Covid-19 pandemic and future high-level visits. Vice Minister Luo assured of China’s support to Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and its continued assistance as Sri Lanka confronts a critical economic challenge.
Both parties agreed that the recommencement of negotiations on the bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the view to concluding it soon would be advantageous to Sri Lanka. Dr. Kohona also raised the issue of non-tariff barriers which are hindering access to the lucrative Chinese market for a range of natural, agricultural and industrial products.
Dr. Kohona commended China for successfully eliminating extreme poverty by 2020 consistent with a key SDG and congratulated the Communist Party of China as it celebrated its 100th year Anniversary. China’s spectacular success could be attributed to the prudent management of the country by the Party. (Colombo Gazette)