During a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday (24), the Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Commerce, Chen Jian expressed interest in boosting two-way trade between the two countries and further promoting investments.
President Rajapaksa thanked the Vice Minister for China’s continued assistance and noted that most of the major landmarks around Colombo remind the Sri Lankan people of that support.
The delegation from China’s Commerce Ministry is in Sri Lanka to take part in the joint economic and trade commission during which the delegations of the two countries will discuss plans for the next three to five years.
“Our bilateral relationship is in very good shape,” Mr. Jian said. “China and Sri Lanka have a long-standing and traditional friendship. There is no barrier to further cooperation between us.”
In order to further enhance bilateral relations, Mr. Jian said China hoped to focus on two areas. While China-Sri Lanka two-way trade is growing, “the two countries should work together to reduce the trade deficit” Mr. Jian said.
The Chinese officials informed President Rajapaksa that Sri Lankan products are becoming more popular in China and that they hope more Sri Lankan products will be introduced to the Chinese market in the future. With regard to investment promotion, Mr. Jian indicated that China, in addition to collaborating on large-scale projects, would also like to invest in small and medium-scale projects.
A delegation of high-ranking officials from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce participated in the discussion.
The Deputy Minister of Finance and the Minister of International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, President’s Chief-of-Staff Mr. Gamini Senarath, Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Mr. Anura Siriwardena and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China Mr. Ranjith Uyangoda were also present.