China says negotiations with Sri Lanka on more large-scale projects are accelerating.
The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan said that Sri Lanka and China and in talks on establishing LNG power stations, a petroleum refinery and cement, iron and steel manufacturing plants.
He said the projects are expected to bring drastic changes to the local economy and people’s livelihood and become another new engine for Sri Lanka’s development.
In a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, the Chinese envoy said that the 3-decade civil war in Sri Lanka severely restricted the Island nation’s economic and social development.
He said that after finally bringing an end to the war in 2009, because of the international financial crisis and some ideological reasons, Sri Lanka did not receive the expected foreign support.
“At this critical moment, it was China again that stood up with open hands and participated in the reconstruction in all directions. Logically, Sri Lanka become one of the first countries to openly support the Belt and Road Initiative, since it is highly compatible with Sri Lanka’s national development strategy,” he said.
China is already involved in several projects in Sri Lanka, including a port, highway, airport and coal power plant and as of the end of 2017, Chinese companies have completed more than US$15 billion infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.
“The Chinese people with open arms welcome all countries, including Sri Lanka, to take the train and share common development. We sincerely expect all sectors in Sri Lanka to join hands with us to jointly build the Belt and Road and a Sino-Sri Lanka destiny community, to jointly create a beautiful and bright future for our two peoples,” the Ambassador said.
He said that with the biggest population and the second largest economy in the world, being the second largest importer and consumer, China will import more than US$10 trillion in goods and services and invest more than US$750 billion abroad in next five years.