China-Sri Lanka Current Affairs - 2019
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Sri Lanka and China have signed a tripartite agreement to proceed with the construction of a Financial City Centre in Colombo.
The agreement was signed between Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and China Harbour Engineering Company.
- The Colombo International Financial City project aims to transform Sri Lanka into an international financial hub in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).
- It will be the centre of the maritime city which be one of the key phenomenon that will decide the future development of Sri Lanka.
- The project will include central parks and beaches for the public and is expected to create thousands of jobs in the island country.
- The $1.4 billion Port City project initially started construction in September 2014. But it was suspended in March 2015 due to environmental concerns.
Sri Lankan Government has formally announced the resumption of work on the stalled Chinese Colombo Port City project.
The announcement was made in the Joint Statement by China and Sri Lanka at the conclusion of the official state visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Beijing.
Key highlights of the Joint Statement
- Both sides will use the Chinese initiative to develop a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to advance infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.
- China has pledged fresh support to the Sri Lanka in infrastructure development.
- Both sides will also advance development the China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, promote joint ventures and expand cooperation in the areas of economy, culture, science and technology.
- Sri Lankan Government’s announcement comes at a time when the island country is facing a debt crisis with looming repayments of Chinese infrastructure loans.
- China is stressing on cooperating with Sri Lanka in further developing the infrastructure. While the Sri Lanka has committed to revive the Chinese Port City Project in order to work out solutions to ward off immediate Chinese loan repayment concerns.