COLOMBO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka and China will look to boost economic ties during a visit by a high-level Chinese delegation to the island, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.
A delegation led by China's National Development and Reforms Commission is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on Saturday to discuss further the broad parameters of bilateral economic cooperation.
Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry said that following closely on the heels of the official visit by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris to Beijing recently, the visit by the Chinese delegation will give an added impetus to opportunities accruing to Sri Lanka in the context of promoting the country as a regional " commercial hub".
Peiris, expressing support for this concept, noted that the new initiative would be a catalyst in giving practical orientation to the Strategic Co-operative Partnership adopted by the leaders during the state visit of President Mahinda Rajjapaksa to China, in May last year.
The Chinese side, in discussions with the Minister of External Affairs in Beijing, reiterated the need to give consideration to each other's own national development strategy, while advancing practical co-operation, deepening the integration of interests and strengthening support for each other.
The two countries are giving priority to fast tracking the proposed Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and China, the External Affairs Ministry said.
The ministry said that the feasibility survey is on the verge of completion, and the rest of the process is to be expedited.