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SL says ready for BRI second phase; China keen on extending CMEC

22 November 2023 04:01 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • President Wickremesinghe expresses SL’s readiness for the second phase of BRI during a meeting with Chinese Special Envoy Shen Yiqi
  • China expresses interest in extending the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) to include Sri Lanka
  • Both parties agree to expedite the implementation of China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement
  • President Wickremesinghe expresses gratitude for China’s support, particularly in SL’s debt restructuring programme

Ranil Wickremesinghe with Shen Yiqin

Sri Lanka has conveyed its preparedness for the second phase of the Belt and Road Initiative, with China expressing a keen interest in extending the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) to include Sri Lanka.

This was revealed when the Special envoy of the Chinese President, State Councillor Shen Yiqin made a courtesy call on Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday in Colombo.

According to a communique issued by the President’s Media Division, Wickremesinghe has said that “countries such as Sri Lanka, participants in the Belt & Road initiative, are prepared to embark on the second phase of the initiative, which is expected to make a more substantial economic contribution.”

Wickremesinghe also expressed Sri Lanka’s desire to augment cooperation between the two countries in the fields of tourism, sports and agriculture. He highlighted that both the Hambantota Port and Port City are currently prepared for investment opportunities. During the meeting, he detailed the steps taken by Sri Lanka to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and reaffirmed the country’s commitment to maintaining the Indian Ocean as a freely navigable and peaceful region, free from global geopolitical rivalries.

In response, the Chinese Special Envoy Yiqin stated that China is also prioritising the extension of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor to Sri Lanka. Additionally, both parties agreed to expedite the implementation of the China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.

The China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) is a strategic economic development initiative under the broader BRI. It focuses on fostering economic cooperation and connectivity between China and Myanmar through the development of key infrastructure projects.

These projects include transportation networks, energy pipelines, and other initiatives aimed at enhancing trade and economic ties between China and Myanmar. 

Wickremesinghe also expressed gratitude for China’s support to Sri Lanka, notably acknowledging their assistance in the country’s debt restructuring programme. He extended sincere thanks to the Chinese President and the government for their invaluable support in this regard.

Special Envoy Yiqin reaffirmed China’s enduring support to Sri Lanka and emphasised her commitment to strengthening relations between the two countries.


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  Comments - 4

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  • Heisenberg Wednesday, 22 November 2023 07:32 AM

    Ranil enjoying at taxpayer expense.

    Punchi Wednesday, 22 November 2023 07:59 AM

    Counting the chickens before the eggs hatch. International reports that in pro China junta ruled Myanmar - An "unprecedented" surprise offensive launched by a coalition of ethnic-based armies and pro-democracy fighters in Myanmar's north has some observers convinced the country's ruling junta is likely to be defeated.

    Modaya Wednesday, 22 November 2023 08:07 AM

    Western spin doctors will start spreading their fantasy stories

    Suhada malli Wednesday, 22 November 2023 08:13 AM

    China should now invest in manufacturing plants in the 15,000 hectares they have in Hambantota so that "Made in Sri Lanka" brands will be exported out of Sri Lanka to other destinations. Eg. Look at setting up an EV electric vehicle manufacturing plant to cater to Europe and African markets.


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