The Government is reported to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China with the assurance to encourage Chinese investments and to implement key projects including the Colombo-Ratnapura expressway.
Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry had signed the agreement on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government while the Chinese Commerce Ministry on behalf of China.
Among the proposed Chinese investments to be implemented on a priority basis are the Hambantota Integrated Development Project, the Hambantota Port Phase II, Hambantota Port Dockyard, the Mattala International Airport Integrated Project, Sothern Railway Project from Beliatta to Hambantota, the International Technology Institute and the construction of a part of the Central Expressway.
Oil refinery and feasibility study on water reservoirs for Economic Development of Hambantota and Moneragala will also be carried out on a priority basis under the MoU.
The phase IV of the Central Expressway linking Kurunegala with Dambulla is to be implemented under the MoU as part of the Polonnaruwa Integrated Development Project.
Southern Tourism Industry Belt Integrated Project and Thalpiyigala Reservoir Project, Chilaw Waste Water Project and Kandy North Water Project have also been outlined in the project.
The two sides have agreed to encourage and support financial institutions subject to the relevant conditions and public law, to fund and facilitate the execution of these projects. Loans with preferential conditions will also be made available.
China-Sri Lanka Joint Committee will be the implementation unit of this MoU. It was signed in April, this year and a copy was tabled in the House last week in response to a question by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. (Kelum Bandara)