China said finalizing the proposed FTA between Sri Lanka and China would greatly benefit the local Sri Lankan market and products.
This was stated when Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris held talks with Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong at the ministry on March 18.
Discussions also focused on the ongoing negotiations of the Sri Lanka-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Minister Peiris pointed out that the seventh round of FTA negotiations will start soon with the support of the respective parent agencies in Sri Lanka. The foreign minister also said the president had appointed three committees to address current shortages of food, medicine and cement. Ambassador Qi also urged the Sri Lankan authorities to resume the seventh round of FTA negotiations at the earliest.
During the meeting, a first day cover issued by the Chinese authorities to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact between the two countries in 1952, was presented to the Minister of Foreign Affairs by the Chinese Ambassador.
Foreign Minister Peiris praised the support given by the Chinese government during the 49th Human Rights Council held recently. Minister Peiris also recalled China’s support in previous Human Rights Councils and expressed his confidence and hope that China would also provide support if needed in the future.
The Chinese Ambassador also thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and expressed his greatest satisfaction for the organization of a successful official visit of the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, to Sri Lanka at the end of December 2021. He also thanked the government of Sri Lanka for issuing a commemorative coin on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Community Party. The Chinese Ambassador briefed the Foreign Minister on several welfare activities organized by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo for Buddhist monks and temples, as well as the distribution of 150 food parcels to those in need. .
Both sides expressed great appreciation for the strong bilateral relations, including government-to-government contacts, people-to-people contacts as well as party-to-party contacts between the Communist Party of China and Sri Lanka’s Podujana Peramuna.
Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasooriya, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy were also present during the