Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Representation in China to be further increased
Posted on August 5th, 2009

Public Communications Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Vice Governor of the Yunnan Province Mr. Gao Feng paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on 3rd August 2009 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 Welcoming Vice-Governor Feng to Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Bogollagama noted that the visit was significant as it was the first visit to Sri Lanka by a Vice Governor of the Yunnan Province of the People’s Republic of China. He also stated that the visit became a reality following the invitation extended by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka upon his visit to Yunnan Province in October 2008. During the discussions, Foreign Minister Bogollagama referred to the special relationship shared by Sri Lanka and China and stated that it was a special “friendship between a small country and a big country”.  The Minister also appreciated the support extended by China to Sri Lanka in various international and multilateral fora and recorded the assistance rendered by China for Sri Lanka’s infrastructure developments such as roads, electricity among others. The Minister also drew the attention of the visiting Vice Governor to the economic agenda envisaged by Sri Lanka such as business partnerships, direct foreign investment and also explore the possibility of setting up industries in Sri Lanka. The Foreign Minister also revealed that Sri Lanka was keen to increase its diplomatic representation in China and pointed out that following the setting up of the Consulate in Shanghai, Sri Lanka was also planning to open another consulate in Chengdu by October this year and added that this was how Sri Lanka was keen to project itself in China.

 Responding, Vice-Governor Feng expressed confidence that the economic relations envisaged by Sri Lanka with China would be pursued by the trade delegation which had accompanied him and stated that  progress can be expected following the substantive dialogue between the delegations. 

 Foreign Minister Bogollagama also requested the visiting dignitary to consider operating flights from China to Sri Lanka in order to promote tourism between the two counties and assured the support of Sri Lanka in order to achieve this objective. Vice-Governor Feng then invited  to Sri Lanka to  participate in the “ƒ”¹…”China International Tourism Mart’, a major tourism promotional event. Officials from the Vice Governor’s delegation representing the tourism sector also added that they were in contact with their counterparts in Sri Lanka in order to take this idea forward.

 Moving on to the area of education, Foreign Minister Bogollagama requested Vice-Governor Feng to “ƒ”¹…”look at students’ exchange programme’ between the two countries, to which the latter responded by stating that the Yunnan Province has decided to provide full scholarships to twenty (20) Sri Lankan students. He also stated that support could also be extended to the promotion of teaching Chinese language in Sri Lanka in order to enhance the existing relations even further. Elaborating further, Foreign Minister Bogollagama stated that focus should also be on technical education for students in Sri Lanka and opined that such education and training from China would greatly benefit Sri Lankans who can then establish their own workshops and industries in Sri Lanka. The visiting Vice-Governor agreed to consider these suggestions favourably and expressed his appreciation to the warm reception accorded to his delegation by the Sri Lankan side. Foreign Minister Bogollagama added by thanking the Vice-Governor and his delegation and expressed hope that this visit would take the warm relations shared with China to even greater heights.

 Senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Yunnan Province were present during the discussions.

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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