Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang has expressed support for an effort to establish a Sri Lanka- China Joint Committee which will include investment on key ventures including city construction and technical training, the Chinese embassy said in a statement yesterday.
The Joint Committee had come under discussion when the Ambassador toured Hambantota last week and held an on-the-spot meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the construction of the proposed Sri Lanka-China Industrial Zone.
“During the meeting, the two sides deeply explored land situation in the industrial zone area, construction progress of the industrial zone and envisagement of Chinese enterprises,” the statement said.
Wickremesinghe welcomed Chinese enterprises who are interested in investing in the southern part of Sri Lanka and answered specific questions raised by Chinese enterprises including land availability. Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama recently announced that Chinese companies were seeking 15,000 hectares of land to establish a special economic zone.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe had proposed establishing a Sri Lanka-China Joint Committee that would move forward on specific projects including building a new city and carrying out vocational and technical training in the industrial zone.
Wickremesinghe had also initiated the concept of a Colombo-Kandy-Hambantota Corridor by combining transport hotspots Colombo Port City, Hambantota Habour, Bandaranaike International Airport and Mattala International Airport.
“Ambassador Yi appreciated the Prime Minister conducting the highly efficient on-the-spot meeting, and expressed China’s determination to support and take part in the establishment of Sri Lanka-China Joint Committee, new city construction and vocational and technical training,” the statement released by the Chinese embassy added.
The Chinese ambassador emphasised the proposed Hambantota industrial zone was a zone of both countries with comprehensive and multiple functions, which had great significance for China-Sri Lanka cooperation and the development of Sri Lanka.
He said there was no doubt the industrial zone would promote all-around development of Sri Lanka in the near future.
Ambassador Yi also inspected projects of Mattala International Airport, Hambantota Habour and Conference Center, learning about the progress and plan of the projects. He requested the Chinese enterprises to construct the projects on time and ensure they are of good quality.