Colombo, June 14 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka and China have discussed the possibility of launching bullet trains in the Indian Ocean island which would tremendously cut the travelling time from the south to the north of Sri Lanka, China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang said here Wednesday.
Yi said China had launched bullet trains in its own country and a travelling time of around 3 hours between cities had been cut to around 48 minutes.
He said he had held discussions on this regard with Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena where suggestions had been made to launch a bullet train between capital Colombo to Trincomalee in the east, and from Jaffna in the north to Hambantota in the south.
Yi however said such projects would need funding and would take time.
Stressing that Sri Lanka was a big island with more than a 20 million population, more than 65,000 square km of territory and more than 560,000 square kilometers of water, Yi said there was much that Sri Lanka could produce and do to strengthen its position.
For starters he said Sri Lanka must put in place its basic industrial system because without this the country could not attract FDIs.
“You use so much foreign currency to buy what you can produce. I think this is why the Chinese leaders have suggested to Sri Lanka to set up their own industrial system,” Yi said.
With this in mind, Yi said China and Sri Lanka launched the economic zone in Hambantota, southern Sri Lanka, last year which will provide Sri Lanka a platform to create its own industrial hub.
Yi added that many other countries who had similar industrial zones, had strengthened their economies and attracted FDIs.
He further explained that in order to attract FDIs, Sri Lanka must also maintain a stable and consistent policy and a friendly mechanism for FDIs.
“This is most important for any country,” he said. “Last year I met with many Chinese CEOs and they would like to bring in FDIs to Sri Lanka. However Sri Lanka must have stability and consistency of its policies.”
Emphasizing on the China, Sri Lanka relations, Yi said China has always put Sri Lanka on an important position among its neighbourhood diplomacy.
With no hidden agendas, Yi said China and Sri Lanka had helped each other in difficult times and China would continue to assist and support the island country.
He further said economically, the Chinese government encourages Chinese companies and banks, private or national to have FDI in other countries who need the investments.
In investments,last year, China gave out 138 billion dollars worth of FDI to other countries. If Sri Lanka could get even one percent it means 1.3 billion, Yi said.
However he said trade between China and Sri Lanka was right now unbalanced and more should be done to promote trade between the two countries.
He further stressed that Sri Lanka needed to do more to attract Chinese tourists as more Chinese were now traveling the world.
Yi said last year more than 130 million Chinese people traveled to other countries and if Sri Lanka can attract at least 1 percent then it would mean 1 million Chinese tourists to the island country.