Set up joint venture projects in Lanka, President tells China
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga reiterating Sri Lanka's
healthy environment for investments to the Chinese Business community,
yesterday invited them to set up joint venture projects in Sri Lanka
assuring them all support and facilities from the Government.
Addressing leading Chinese and Sri Lankan business entrepreneurs at
the China Investment, Tourism and Trade Promotion seminar at the Kerry
Centre in Beijing, the President said: "On my part what I can assure you
is that Sri Lanka welcomes you as a partner."
She said she knows many of them had already visited Sri Lanka and
knew the esteem and friendship with which Sri Lankans look at China.
President Kumaratunga recalled since Sri Lanka liberalised her
economic policies in the 70s', it has followed a consistent, liberal and
free market economic policy.
She said Sri Lanka's trade and tariff policy is moving towards an
increasingly lower tariff regime. The President said four months ago in
Colombo, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and she witnessed the signing
of the China-Sri Lanka agreement for further strengthening economic
President Kumaratunga told the gathering of investors that economic
relations was not merely a matter of buying and selling. As the
agreement implies there are diverse areas of economic cooperation.
These include joint ventures, contractual and consultancy services
for various mega infrastructure projects including power, transport and
communications, President Kumaratunga said.
She said they had commenced negotiations under the agreement to work
out modalities to facilitate trade and economic relations including
"I have come here today with a group of very senior businessmen from
Sri Lanka who cover a wide range of products such as tourism, gemming
and coir products," the President said. President Kumaratunga recalled
the fruitful discussions she had the previous day with Chinese leader Hu
Jintao, adding that they had mapped out means to advance the economic
cooperation between the two countries.
She recalled that former Chinese President Jang Zemin visited Sri
Lanka in the 70s' to study what was then called the Grater Colombo
Economic Zone, one of the first to be set up in South Asia. She said
China can utilise these production zones and concessions can be
negotiated on an individual basis to suit their special needs.
The President said since Sri Lanka liberalised her economy in the
70s' it had followed a consistent, liberal free market economic policy.
"China's own economic performance has been stupendous in the past
decades. We would very much like to enhance and deepen our economic
relationship," President Kumaratunga said.
Quoting the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at the end of
her speech, President said: "Sri Lanka wishes China to succeed, and
trusts China to exercise responsibly and constructively the enormous
power and influence that will necessarily accompany great economic