China and Sri Lanka today signed a USD 500 million loan agreement which will infuse the required foreign exchange into the Sri Lanka economy.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China, Dr. Palitha Kohona, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka with the China Development Bank at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing.
“These funds will help with Government efforts to facilitate rapid economic recovery following the setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Sri Lankan Embassy in China said.
After the signature ceremony, Dr. Kohona stated that the timely assistance from China in providing these funds will help fuel Sri Lanka’s recovery efforts and stimulate growth.
Dr. Kohona further opined that this USD 500 million loan will encourage investor confidence in Sri Lanka and strengthen the currency.
“China, as a loyal friend and reflecting the depth of our friendship, has been generously extending its helping hand to Sri Lanka when difficult challenges confronted us. Two weeks ago, China’s gift of 600,000 Covid-19 vaccines were airfreighted to Sri Lanka adding to our vaccine stock,” the Embassy said.
He welcomed further cooperation on trade, investment, tourism, education, sports and other areas.
“We expect more Chinese tourists to visit Sri Lanka in the post Covid-19 period with the prospect of travel restrictions being relaxed in the near future”.
Dr. Kohona also said that they were in discussion with Chinese producers with a view to shooting a tourism-oriented movie in the near future.
The Mission was also holding talks to improve access to Sri Lankan exports to the lucrative market while encouraging increased FDI flows to Sri Lanka.
“All these would assist our economy to recover in the shortest period,” Dr. Kohona stated.
The USD 500 million loan was a part of USD 1 billion, out of which USD 500 million was released last year. (Colombo Gazette)