Friday, 27 September 2013 01:04
Daily Mirror E paper
Immediate action must be taken to narrow the US $ 2.4 billion gap in Sino-Lanka trade, according to Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao.
“Trade with Sri Lanka is one of the focal points of our Embassy in Colombo. From China’s perspective, our trade deficit with Sri Lanka is too large. Sri Lanka is an important South Asian partner for us and politically China stands firm in its support to Sri Lanka. Immediate action must be taken to solve the trade imbalance between China and Sri Lanka,” Ambassador Jianghao stated.
He made the comments during the inauguration of the Sri Lanka-China Business Meetings, organised by the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Sri Lanka Industry and Commerce Ministry, Chinese Commerce Ministry’s Trade Development Bureau and the Chinese Embassy in Colombo.
Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao addressing the inauguration event of Sri Lanka-China Business Meeting at Cinnamon Lakeside
The 36-member strong trade delegation was comprised of 23 Chinese private sector companies across several sectors including glass manufacture, mining/minerals, agriculture, polymer/petroleum bi-products, chemicals and real estate, including three Fortune-500 firms, namely Sinochem Group, China Minmetals and Sinosteel.
Other visiting firms included Anhui Light Industries International Co., Ltd (ALIC), Zibo Top Arts, Zibo Honghan Trading, Shandong Hanbang Household Glassware, Zibo Unishine, XinHe Commerce and trade Refco Group, Hebel Kaifa Glassware, AVIC International Holding, CITIC International, Chinatex, China National Township, Sinosteel Raw Materials, Sinochem Guangdong and Sinochem Plastics.
Also present at the meeting, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen elaborated on the potential for expanding regional trade opportunities, particularly in the context of the upcoming free-trade-agreement (FTA) to be signed between the two nations just prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGAM) in November.
“The proposed FTA between Sri Lanka and China is an unprecedented opportunity for the export and business communities of China and Sri Lanka. The bilateral free trade agreements we have with India, Pakistan and several other regional agreements, such as South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), provide highly preferential market access for products manufactured in Sri Lanka.
This is definitely an opportunity for Chinese investors who are looking for business opportunities in these markets through their investments in Sri Lanka and I invite you to partner with Sri Lanka,” Bathiudeen noted.