COLOMBO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — Sri Lankan State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya said during a tour of Chinese-built projects in capital Colombo on Tuesday that Chinese investment will transform the landscape of Sri Lanka.
Balasuriya led a delegation of senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a tour of the 356-meter tall Lotus Tower and the 269-hectare Port City Colombo.
The tour was joined by officials of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka including Charge d’Affaires Hu Wei, and representatives of Port City Colombo developer CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd.
In an interview with Xinhua, Balasuriya said that the Sri Lankan government was glad to receive investments from China and would ensure that such investments were protected.
“Chinese investments will transform the landscape of Sri Lanka. We want to work in partnership with the Chinese government and Chinese companies,” Balasuriya said.
Balasuriya said that the Sri Lankan government is interested in expediting the Port City Colombo, which was initiated with a 1.4 billion U.S. dollar investment from CHEC, and is projected to bring in 13 billion U.S. dollars worth of investments and over 80,000 jobs.
He added that Sri Lanka would endeavor to provide a suitable investment environment in Port City Colombo and that the project would be open to investors from any country in the world.
Hu Wei said that cooperation between Sri Lanka and China on Port City Colombo and other projects carries forward the spirit of the Ruber-Rice Pact.
The pact was signed between China and Sri Lanka in 1952, which was branded as an agreement of friendship.
(The featured image at the top shows Tharaka Balasuriya, Sri Lankan State Minister for Regional Cooperation at Colombo Port City. Photo: Tang Lu/Xinhua)