China's Great Wall Industry Corp. has signed a contract to provide Sri Lanka's first communication satellite.
The company, in which China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. has an equity interest, is China's only authorized provider of commercial satellite launch services to the global market, the official media said. The contract will help further expand China's growing presence in the strategically located Indian Ocean island nation.
The deal, whose financial and other details were not disclosed, was signed Tuesday in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
It is part of an agreement between the two countries to expand bilateral trade, investment and cooperation in agriculture, space technology and infrastructure, China Daily reported. Last year, bilateral trade totaled $2.68 billion, up 19.6 percent from 2011.
The satellite to Sri Lanka will be based on the DFH-4 satellite platform, which would provide telecommunications and broadcasting services to Sri Lanka and its neighboring countries and regions, the report said.
China Daily, quoting a source, said several countries intend to buy the services from Sri Lanka.
The Chinese company said as of May it has launched 43 satellites and 37 launch services for foreign clients, covering 18 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Oceania.
China hopes to have a 10 percent share of the global satellite market and 15 percent of the world's commercial launch market by 2015, China Daily reported.