A delegation from Chengdu Association for Foreign Trade and Cooperation (CAFTEC) Chengdu, China visited the BOI and met with the Chairman
The delegation consisted of Chen Xia, Secretary General (CAFTEC) who was accompanied by two members and by Kosala Wickramanayake, President – International Business Council.
The purpose of the delegation was to promote Sri Lanka and particularly projects in Hambantota. In addition, Chen briefed the BOI Chairman on the potential of Chengdu city.
“Chengdu is in the South-Western part of China and has a rich history. The city has emerged as a centre for Chinese advanced manufacturing industry, clean energy and modern service industry including AI, big data, 5G technology. Of the cities in Western China, Chengdu has the highest economic volume. Our organization has had a close connection with Sri Lanka for about 11 years,” Chen said.
Further, Colombo and Chengdu are benefiting for direct air connection for many years. Chengdu is also world-renowned for the Giant Panda Research Center and the city was named the top ‘must-visit’ city in Mainland China in 2017. “One project that is to be built in Chengdu is the South Asian pavilion that will showcase South Asian specialty products,” he added. The delegation expressed interest in setting up a steel project in Hambantota. In addition, the Chengdu Business Council was the first Chinese Chamber to open an office in Colombo and plans to set up 7 more regional offices in other South Asian countries. Hemasiri Fernando, Chairman of the BOI welcomed this first move by the Chengdu Business Council stating “This will mutually, benefit both the BOI and the Council.”He informed Chen that he would ensure Chengdu authorities of the fullest co-operation in all their activities in Sri Lanka. He also invited them to extend their study to other BOI zones, not just to Hambantota. “Historically there have always been excellent relations between Sri Lanka and China,” he added.