China and Sri Lanka enjoy a long-standing traditional friendship which dates back to 1600 years ago and the signing of the famous “Rice-Rubber Pact” in 1952 symbolized the mutual trust and interdependence of the two countries. The friendly exchanges between our two peoples are frequent, and in recent years, our economic and trade cooperation has yielded fruitful results. The value of bilateral trade in 2017 has reached 4.4 billion US dollars and tourist arrivals from China reached 270,000. China is proud to be the most important FDI source and also ranks No.1 in terms of foreign aid. As you all know, Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port and Industrial Zone have become the two largest FDI projects in Sri Lanka.
Located at the center point of the main international waterway of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is endowed with superior geographical position and has been an important trade center since ancient times. Moreover, as a country under the rule of law, Sri Lanka has the highest literacy rate in South Asia. And with abundant fascinating natural and cultural heritage, it is attracting more and more visitors from all over the world. Thus, as sound infrastructure is being built and investment from foreign countries increases, I’m sure the future of Sri Lanka will be bright.
Over the past years, China’ economy has advanced steadily and while achieving its own development, China has never forgot the historic mission of building a community with a shared future for mankind. Thus, China welcomes countries all over the world, including Sri Lanka, to board the train of its development. In addition, the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping is the answer from China to further promote economic globalization and creates a great opportunity for Sri Lanka to develop its national economy and improve its people’s livelihood. Much to our joy, Sri Lanka is one of the first countries to openly support the BRI and successive Sri Lanka governments have positively responded to and participated in the initiative. We’re certain that by our close partnership under the BRI, we can deliver more fruits to both peoples.
As one of the most important organizations in strengthening business relations between China and Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka-China Business Council has made great contributions to bilateral communications and trade. It has cooperated closely with our Embassy and played a significant role in exploring business opportunities for enterprises in the two countries. Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all the members in the Council for the continuous efforts they have made. Meanwhile, as the two countries’ industries are highly complementary and our partnership is reciprocal, there is still great potential for future cooperation, especially under the framework of the BRI. Thus, it is expected that the Council will continue to play its role and work together with our Chinese side in strengthening communications and exchanges, and creating a brighter future for our two peoples.
With our joint effort, we firmly believe that we could further expand bilateral economic and trade relations and build Sri Lanka as the “Pearl on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.
Wish a bigger success for Sri Lanka-China Business Council and greater prosperity for our two peoples.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka