A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) proposed between Sri Lanka and China will assist Sri Lanka to develop its garment and handloom textile industries as a way to eliminate poverty in rural areas.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Economic Development of Sri Lanka, A Chinese delegation led by the Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China Yu Jianhua, met with the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, at the Ministry in Colombo for discussions on the subject
Mr. Yu Jianhua said Chinese investors will contribute to develop Sri Lanka’s garment and handloom textile industries and find international markets for the products, thus helping to reduce unemployment among rural women in the country.
The present level of the development in the country’s economy is very impressive, he added.
According Minister Jianhua, the proposed China-Sri Lanka (FTA) is the biggest leap since the Rubber-Rice Pact in 1952 and emphasized that Sri Lanka is a priority country for China.
The Chinese Minister pledged full assistance to Sri Lanka’s development programmes and praised the Government’s effort to develop the island’s agriculture.
On his part, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, stressed the need to find alternative jobs for women to reduce unemployment among them and explained to the Chinese Minister the steps Sri Lankan Government is taking to eliminate poverty in the country.
The Sri Lankan Minister also expressed hope that many Chinese tourists would visit Sri Lanka in the coming months and added that 100 Chinese travel agents had already agreed to bring in tourists from China.
Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary Anura Siriwardena, Sri Lanka's Ambassador in China Ranjith Uyangoda, Commercial counselor—Department of Asian affairs Wang Liping and the Department's deputy director Huang Sangfeng also participated in the discussion at the Ministry.