Sri Lanka looks forward to China’s support in rebuilding investor confidence in Sri Lanka since one of country’s main priorities in post-pandemic economic recovery is to attract investments from around the world, said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during the bilateral discussion with State Councilor and Chinese National Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe yesterday.

The Prime Minister said that despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, the Government decided not to pursue countrywide lockdowns due to the impact such lockdowns have on the economy and society.

He added he was sure the Chinese Government too would agree that there was a lot that needed to be done for post-pandemic economic recovery.

The Prime Minister said that he was very happy to welcome the Chinese Defence Minister to Sri Lanka. “We appreciate your deciding to visit despite the pandemic situation,” Premier said. “We have had a number of high-level visits from China since the outbreak of the pandemic. I look forward to our discussion today and the opportunity, through this visit, to further strengthen our already strong and friendly bilateral relations”.

He also extended the warm wishes on the 100th year anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party this year and for all its achievements. It is indeed an important milestone.

“Furthermore, let me also congratulate you on your achievements in poverty alleviation,” Premier Rajapaksa said. “China has uplifted nearly 100 million rural residents out of absolute poverty. And you have accomplished this 10 years in advance of the completion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in poverty alleviation. This is an impressive achievement.”

 The Prime Minister said it has now become very clear to the entire world that vaccines will be the only way to overcome this pandemic. “On that front, on behalf of all Sri Lankans, I extend my sincere appreciation for the generous donation of 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment by China,” Prime Minister Rajapaksa said. “We look forward to China’s continued support in dealing with this crisis”.

The Premier also expressed his wish to work closely with Chinese Government to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and further enhance the cooperation between the countries.

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