A business delegation from China’s Chengdu Association for Foreign Trade and Cooperation(CAFTEC), visiting SriLanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) recently expressed their interest in setting up a steel project in Hambantota.
The delegation consisted of Mr. Chen Xia, Secretary General (CAFTEC) who was accompanied by two members and by Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake, President – International Business Council, met with BOI Chairman Mr.Hemasiri Fenando .
The purpose of the delegation was to promote Sri Lanka and particularly projects in Hambantota. In addition, Mr. Chen briefed the BOI Chairman on the potential of the city of Chengdu.
“Chengdu is in the south-western part of China and has a rich history. The city has emerged as a center for Chinese advanced manufacturing industry, clean energy and modern service industry including AI, big data, 5G technology. Of the cities in Western China, Chengdu has the highest economic volume. Our organization has had a close connection with Sri Lanka for about 11 years.” Mr. Chen said.
Further, Colombo and Chengdu are benefiting for direct air connection for many years. Chengdu is also world renowned for the Giant Panda Research Center and the city was named the top ‘must-visit’ city in Mainland China in 2017.
“One project that is to be built in Chengdu is the South Asian pavilion, that will showcase South Asian specialty products” He added.
In addition, the Chengdu Business Council was the first Chinese Chamber to open an office in Colombo and plans to set up 7 more regional offices in other South Asian countries.
Mr. Hemasiri Fernando, welcoming the first move by the Chengdu Business Council said, “This will mutually, benefit both the BOI and the Council.”
In addition he ensured the Chengdu authorities of the fullest co-operation in all their activities in Sri Lanka. He also invited them to extend their study to other BOI Zones too. “Historically there has always been excellent relations between Sri Lanka and China”. He concluded.