Sri Lanka - China relations on a Strategic Perspective to be mapped out
The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) carried out a productive business promotion mission to China with establishment the Eminent Persons’ Advisory Council (EPAC) comprising senior personalities from the both countries. This mission was organized at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association of Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD), a Beijing based think-tank.
The visit which was the first follow-up initiative after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PF and CPAPD last year also resulted in agreements being reached on the establishment of the Eminent Persons’ Advisory Council (EPAC) comprising senior personalities from the two countries.
The EPAC would adopt a strategic perspective on the course of Sri Lanka – China relations over the next 5 – 10 years. The EPAC will set up technical sub-committees to realize the spirit of the MoU in such areas as strengthening economic, political, strategic and cultural relations.
The delegation comprised senior executives from three of Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerates: Dr. Rohan Fernando, Director Aiken Spence PLC, Head of Plantations and Business Development and Managing Director of Elpitiya Plantations (PLC). Mr. Vasantha Leelananda, Executive Vice President of John Keells Holdings PLC, Head-Destination Management sector. Mr. Nandalal Perera, Director/Chief Executive, Hayley’s Agro Fertilizers (Pvt) Ltd, and Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy (Deputy Chairman) and Dr. Valsan Vethody (Advisor) represented the Pathfinder Foundation. The delegation, hosted by Mr. Zhu Rui, Secretary General of CPAPD and former Mayor of Changzhou had several mutually beneficial meetings with Chinese business counterparts.
Among the Chinese organizations with which they had detailed discussions were: the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering, Department of Tourism Promotion and International Liaison, Changzhou Agricultural Committee, Changzhou Tourism Committee and several other private enterprises.
The delegation visited Beijing and Changzhou, a rapidly growing city of 5 million people situated between Shanghai and Nanjing. The mission generated a number of useful contacts and potential business opportunities, in many areas of interest to Sri Lanka. These include agriculture (fruits, vegetables, green house farming, horticulture, seed production and organic farming), agriculture machinery and equipment manufacture/assembly, livestock development, solar energy at farm level and tourism related projects including inbound tour operations, agro-tourism and other leisure activities.
The PF and the CPAPD intend to develop further mutually beneficial exchanges between the two countries in keeping with the MoU signed between the two organizations.
- Asian Tribune -