Colombo, April 29 (Presidential Media Division): “Sri Lanka is a special friend of China. We have long standing and cordial relations between the two countries. When we faced COVID- 19 disaster recently, Sri Lanka stood with us. China is willing to return that goodwill in the form of fullest cooperation to revive Sri Lanka’s economy in the post-COVID – 19 period”, said the Acting Ambassador and Chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo Hu Wei, during his meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat here on Thursday.
Quoting a Chinese saying Hu said: “True friendship is to stick together in sorrow and happiness”.
The acting envoy further said that his country and the people are grateful to Sri Lanka for being a friend in both good and bad times. Hu emphasized that China expects to assist Sri Lanka to overcome its future challenges also. Sri Lanka will receive help not only from the Central Government of China but also from the country’s leading companies and banks to rebuild its economy in the post – COVID -19 period.
Recalling the assistance extended by China to Sri Lanka from the time of the Rubber-Rice Pact President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said China stood with Sri Lanka during the armed conflict and the post-conflict development drive.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has adversely impacted not only the global economy but also Sri Lanka’s, President Rajapaksa pointed out. The sharp drop in foreign exchange earnings has posed an enormous challenge to the country, President added.
“Due to the nosedive of global economy we have lost income generated by the apparel industry and tourism . It might take a considerable amount of time for the global economy to recover. As such, Sri Lanka has planned to adopt a new development model to create a production economy,” the President said.
He added that he hopes to receive positive responses and goodwill from friendly nations to make the development program a success.
“Our expectation is not just limited to receiving loans and financial grants. One of our prime objectives is to attract foreign investments which can contribute to increase in production. There are ample opportunities for foreign investments in various sectors including agriculture and construction. I invite China and other countries to make use of those opportunities”, President said..
Replying to a query by the Acting Ambassador on the progress of current COVID – 19 prevention campaign, President Gotabaya said that the spread of the virus is under control in general. He explained the reasons for the sudden spike in infections in the last few days and said remedial steps have been taken immediately.
“Mr. President, we are with you”, the Acting Chinese Ambassador said concluding the friendly discussion.