The Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association (SLCFA) yesterday commended the offer made by Chinese President Xi Jinping to restart economic cooperation and projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and noted that Sri Lanka needs foreign investments to get its economy back on track.
“In his phone call to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President Xi Jinping thanked Sri Lanka for assisting China when it was dealing with the pandemic. Sri Lankan government also took firm steps to ensure that Chinese nationals here are not discriminated. Likewise, China has not only assisted Sri Lanka to combat COVID-19 but is offering investments that are vital to get the economy back on track,” President of the SLCFA, Attorney-at-Law, Ananda Goonatilleke said.
He said while the United States and European Union too had offered financial assistance to combat COVID-19, these offers are paltry and would ultimately have no impact on our economy.
“They have promised a few million dollars. But what is a few million dollars compared to our economy. Chinese aid to fight COVID-19 has been larger in magnitude and the offer to start BRI projects, which will bring in investments and develop infrastructure will revitalize our economy and will help us diversify,” Goonatilleke said.
‘Xi Jinping’s call to Rajapaksa, the first such move by a major nation, shows the strength of the relationship between the two nations.