Monday, December 4, 2023

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China, Sri Lanka enhance tourism and trade ties

Colombo (LNW): A Chinese delegation, led by the special envoy of the Chinese President, State Councilor Mrs. Shen Yiqin, paid a courtesy visit to President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat.

The primary agenda of the meeting was to bolster tourism and trade relations between China and Sri Lanka.

President Wickremesinghe expressed gratitude for China’s support to Sri Lanka, particularly acknowledging their assistance in the country’s debt restructuring programme. He thanked the Chinese President and the government for their invaluable support.

The President also conveyed Sri Lanka’s interest in enhancing collaboration in tourism, sports, and agriculture. He highlighted the investment opportunities available at the Hambantota Port and Port City.

President Wickremesinghe mentioned that Sri Lanka, as a participant in the Belt & Road initiative, is ready to embark on the second phase, expecting a more significant economic contribution.

Addressing economic initiatives, the President outlined Sri Lanka’s efforts to access the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and reiterated the country’s commitment to maintaining the Indian Ocean as a free navigation zone, ensuring peace and avoiding global geopolitical rivalries.

The Chinese Special Envoy mentioned China’s priority to extend the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor to Sri Lanka. Both parties agreed to expedite the implementation of the China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.

Yiqin reaffirmed China’s enduring support for Sri Lanka and expressed her commitment to strengthening the relations between the two countries.

President Wickremesinghe was accompanied by President’s Senior Adviser on National Security & Chief-of-Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, and Director of International Affairs Dinouk Colombage.

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