COLOMBO, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — The pragmatic cooperation between Sri Lanka and China under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has brought tangible benefits to both countries and their peoples, Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan has said.
Speaking at the International Seminar under the theme “BRI at Five Years — Regional and Global Dimensions” , jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka and the Bandaranaike Center for International Studies (BCIS) in Colombo, Cheng said that over the past five years, the BRI had developed from an initiative to a reality, from a vision to an important platform, and had become more popular around the world.
He said Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to openly support and join the BRI and in the last five years, in-depth exchanges and cooperation in various fields between China and Sri Lanka had blossomed under the BRI framework.
Among the completed BRI projects in Sri Lanka, the Norocholai Power Station provides about 40 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, the Colombo Airport Expressway has brought great convenience to domestic and international travelers, the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has become the fastest growing container terminal in Asia and the Moragahakanda Project, the biggest water reservoir in Sri Lanka, has brought great benefits to local agriculture and people.
“Besides, the under-construction Colombo Port City, as well as the Hambantota Port and Industrial Park, are expected to become the new engines for Sri Lankan economic take-off. The pragmatic cooperation between our two countries has made a great contribution to Sri Lanka’s development, and also brought tangible benefits to our two countries and two peoples,” Cheng said.
He said China is glad to see that more countries had already begun to share their achievements and constructive suggestions under the BRI framework.
Twenty-one leading scholars from 10 countries, including China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore, Spain, Greece and Kenya, participated in the seminar held Friday.
Around 300 representatives from various sectors of Sri Lanka and foreign diplomatic corps also attended the event, according to a statement from the Chinese embassy.
On the sidelines of the seminar, foreign scholars also visited some mega-projects under the framework of BRI, including the Colombo Port City, the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) and the Hambantota Port.