COLOMBO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese investors have shown interest in investing in Sri Lanka and ongoing Chinese projects in the island nation have greatly benefited the local people, said Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang said that Chinese projects in Sri Lanka have benefited the local economy and also created employment for thousands of local workers.
For example, "the Norochcholai coal power plant has created a 1. 6 million USD benefit everyday, 800 job opportunities and 3,000 indirect employment opportunities for local workers. That's why this project was called a 'cash printer'. The Colombo International Container Terminal has optimize the international trade routes and lowered the cost of shipment of South Asian Countries," the Chinese ambassador said.
He said China and Sri Lanka boast strong historical ties, noting "the new political background in Sri Lanka will not have impact on the cooperation policies between Sri Lanka and China. We will continue to push forward bilateral cooperation for mutual benefits."
"So far, both of us are summarizing the development experiences in the past. The bilateral cooperation in the future will cover more fields and benefit more people. The cooperation projects will be more on public health, education, culture, tourism, agriculture and so on, which will benefit mostly the common people," the Chinese ambassador said.
He said China and Sri Lanka would continue to push forward cooperation.
"President (Maithripala) Sirisena made a state visit to China only after 6 months after president Xi's state visit to Sri Lanka. A series of MOU and agreements had been signed, including one kidney hospital which will be built in Sri Lanka," Xianliang said.
Commenting on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Ambassador Yi said such a program, which covers the fields of development in economy, trading, culture, will benefit all parties involved.
"The Maritime Silk Road is actually an initiative for long term common development. China as well as Sri Lanka and other related countries will greatly benefit from it. The program will also enhance the direct investment in Sri Lanka and reduce the potential risks at the same time," the ambassador said.
He also noted the cooperation between Sri Lanka and China is non-exclusive.