Colombo, Aug 2 (newsin.asia) – China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, on Wednesday said Sri Lanka needed to set up the proposed economic zone in Hambantota in order to attract mega investments.
Speaking at a ceremony to award scholarships to 18 Sri Lankan students to study in Chinese universities, Yi said that altough Sri Lanka and China had last week signed the Hambantota Port Agreement, Sri Lanka needed to set up the economic zone to prosper.
“A port is a port but we need an economic zone. Sri Lanka needs industrialization and an industry zone is the best way,” he said.
Yi further said that with many development projects ongoing in Sri Lanka which are supported by the Chinese government and Chinese companies, Sri Lanka lacked qualified professionals to work in these projects.
“Sri Lanka has many giant projects, but how about human power? We need professionals. We need engineers, we need managers. So all students who study in China, when they come back they can easily find a job,” Yi said.
Out of all countries globally, China provides the highest financial assistance to Sri Lanka. In donations and grants, Sri Lanka is once again the number one country to which China donates. According to Yi, China donates at least 100 million dollars to Sri Lanka annually in the form of grants and donations.
“We have so many projects here. Even in the education and training corporation China provides the most support to Sri Lanka out of all other countries. Every year China provides more than 1300 Sri Lankan’s opportunities to travel to China to study and undergo training programs. China also conducts special classes for Sri Lankans. So why has China continued to support Sri Lanka since ancient times? It is because of our strong friendship.”
However while stating that some people within the island and outside the island had made some ‘noise’ against China’s presence in Sri Lanka, the friendship shared between the two countries had not changed.