President to visit China to work out major projectsView(s):
By Damith Wickremasekara
President Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to make an official visit to China in October, his first to that country since becoming the Head of State last year. According to Government sources his main role will be to look for new investments, reach trade agreements and resume funding for stalled projects. Expediting investments for the Colombo Port Financial City and discussions with the Exim Bank on resuming funding for the Central Expressway–Kadwatha-Mirigama section–would be on the table for discussion during the visit, while looking for new investments around the Hambantota area would be on the priority list, the sources said.
A Chinese investment in a refinery project in Hambantota which was expected to draw funds of US$ four billion was also expected to be discussed and finalised during the visit.
The Terms of Reference for the Establishment of an export oriented petroleum refinery and an associated product processing centre in Hambantota had already been finalised by the Power and Energy Ministry.
Ahead of the President’s visit, the Chinese Foreign Minister was expected to lead a delegation to Sri Lanka.
The visiting Chinese delegation was expected to review the expressway project, the Colombo Port Financial City proposed projects and the investments around the Hambantota area in addition to looking at potential new projects.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry told the Sunday Times during his recent visit to China that he also discussed re-negotiating debt repayment with China’s Exim Bank after pointing out the progress made on the Domestic Debt Optimisation (DDO) programme.
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