In a significant development in Lanka – China bilateral trade, China has upgraded Sri Lanka to no less than a Joint Sponsor in the first of its newest international trade event series- the China South Asia Exposition (CSAE), states the Ministry of Industry & Commerce.
“We thank you for making Sri Lanka a Joint Sponsor in the CSAE to be held in Yunnan in June. We are currently working on a 150 strong Sri Lankan delegation for this forthcoming international event” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the seven member high profile trade delegation led by Ding Shaoxiang, the Vice Governor of Yunnan Province. The first high level Chinese team to arrive Sri Lanka since the appointment of China’s new Premier Li Keqiang and in less than two weeks’ of Keqiang’s ascension on 15 March, the delegation is also scheduled to hold meetings with several key figures of Lankan Government before it returns home, the Ministry further said.
Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and China stood at $ 2.676 Bn in 2012, increasing by 19.5% from 2011. Exports to China in 2012 stood at $ 108.12 Mn. China has now become the largest development partner and an important investor in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, bilateral trade between Yunnan Province and Sri Lanka is now reported at $ 37 Mn (Y2012).
The China-South Asia Exposition is expected to develop to a showcase for commodities deals, service trade, investment partnership, tourism cooperation and cultural exchanges, grow to a high-end and comprehensive exhibition, and become a bridge for the win-win cooperation between China and countries of South Asia, and a platform for China and South Asian countries to expand economic and commercial exchanges with other countries and regions.