Sri Lanka & China Enhance Cooperation

The Governor of the Yunnan Province, Qin Guangrong conveyed China’s support to the economic development process in Sri Lanka, with investment and association with major economic infrastructure projects in the country, when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently.

Acknowledging the contribution made by China for the development of the country, President Rajapaksa stated that Sri Lanka's economy has been greatly benefited by some mega-projects funded by China in recent years and expressed his gratitude to China's participation in Sri Lanka's economic rebuilding process, after decades of LTTE terrorism ended last year.

Commending the able leadership of the President, the Governor stated that President Rajapaksa’s overwhelming political success following a strong mandate in the recent elections, were due to his leadership in liberating the country from terrorism and his commitment towards the economic development of the country.

The two leaders stressed the need to enhance the cooperation between the two countries in many areas such as economy, education, culture, agriculture, investment and tourism. Referring to the maiden flight by China Eastern Airlines from Kunming to Sri Lanka with ‘a planeload of friendship’, the Governor of the Yunnan Province said that it would undoubtedly increase the tourist arrivals from China to Sri Lanka. He further added that the business delegation which accompanied him was keen to collaborate with their counterparts in Sri Lanka to promote trade and investment.

While welcoming the visiting Governor to the Ministry of External Affairs Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris opined that visits of this nature would make a valuable contribution towards enhancing the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.

Governor Guangrong also noted that Yunnan Province in China was a tourism province, filled with abundance of natural resources while Sri Lanka was a well known tourist destination.

Referring to his visit to China in August 2010, the Minister of External Affairs stated that the visit provided him with an opportunity to brief the leaders of the Chinese Government on the current political situation and development process in Sri Lanka.

He expressed appreciation for the various assistances rendered by China and requested the Governor of the Yunnan Province to encourage more Chinese investors to explore the potential and opportunities available in the North and East of Sri Lanka with the dawn of peace and stability.

Several MoUs were signed in the spheres of agriculture, higher education, bio-mass and tourism promotion, providing more impetus to the relations between the two countries.