China-Sri Lanka Infrastructure Investment Cooperation Forum
August 09, 2017 – The China-Sri Lanka Infrastructure Investment Cooperation Forum jointly organised by the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka and China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) with the support of the Embassy of Peoples Republic of China was held at the Kingsbury Hotel on 1 August.
Minister for Commerce and Industries Rishad Bathiudeen and Ambassador of Peoples Republic of China Yi Xianliang were the Guests of Honour for this occasion.
Yi Xianliang urged the Sri Lankans to make use of this opportunity to foster partnerships in infrastructure investments with their Chinese counterparts to mutually benefit and prosper both countries.
The Ambassador expressed that the President of the People’s Republic of China is eager to assist Sri Lanka to industrialise and furthermore that since Sri Lanka is small it is best to develop large industrial zones in few locations. As such the area around Hambantota Port would be ideal for a large industrial zone. This would complement harbour activities to make it viable.
The Chinese Ambassador also suggested the use of Chinese RMB as a mode of currency for trade with China, which stands now at $ 4.3 billion. Using Chinese RMB this would be considerably increased. He also touched on the Hambantota Port Agreement and said that the Chinese Government will strongly promote the Industrial Zone based around Hambantota Port.
Several presentations by organisations and key Institutions of the Government of Sri Lanka were made to the Chinese investors ranging from opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka by the BOI Sri Lanka, Western Megapolis Development Project (plans, projects and opportunities for investment), and also opportunities for investment in other sectors such as the tourism and leisure, the water sector and irrigation infrastructure were explained by the heads of these institutions.
Part Two was segmented into presentations made by three major conglomerates in Sri Lanka (Hayleys Plc, Aitken Spence Plc and John Keels Holdings Plc) which was followed by two Chinese counterparts presenting their companies to the audience.
At the end of the forum the Chinese Investors interacted with prospective Sri Lankan collaborators and formed links towards which the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka would be pleased to facilitate partnerships in fostering infrastructure investment in Sri Lanka.