Sri Lanka-China Track II initiative on Maritime Silk Route

Wednesday, 4 November 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BUP_DFT_DFT-5-5From left: Ibrahim Saleem, Subram Ramaswamy, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Luxman Siriwardena, Bernard Goonetilleke, Yi Xianliang, Ambassador for China, Admiral (Dr.) Jayanath Colombage (Retired), Dr. Janaka Wijayasiri, Ayanthi Fernando, Nirmal Cooke, Dr. Rohan Fernando and Ruan Samarasinghe


Sri Lanka Track II delegation, scheduled to leave for China on 4 November, for a meeting with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), had a briefing session with Ambassador for China at the Chinese Embassy Yi Xianliang, on 30 October. During the interaction Ambassador Yi highlighted the need to attract FDI from China to rejuvenate the island’s economy and boost foreign exchange reserves.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled China’s plans to re-establish the ancient land silk road going westward to Europe via Central Asia and Russia, and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) to Europe via South East Asia, South Asia, Red Sea, and the Mediterranean, with an initial seed capital of $ 40 billion with more in the pipeline. The proposal is now known as ‘One Belt-One Road’. Once implemented and managed judiciously, the project could bring infrastructure development and economic prosperity to the countries and peoples located along the MSR that was frequented by merchants, pilgrims and explorers such as Marco Polo, Fa Xian and Ibn Batuta.

The Sri Lankan group includes team leader Bernard Goonetilleke, Shirantha Herath, (Chairman, Southern Development Authority), Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Admiral (Retired) Dr. Jayanath Colombage, Dr. Rohan Fernando, Dr. Janaka Wijayasiri, Dr. O.G. Dayaratna-Banda, Subram Ramaswamy, Niro Cooke, Ruan Samarasinghe, Ibrahim Saleem, Ayanthi Fernando and Luxman Siriwardena, Executive Director, Pathfinder Foundation. 

The business delegation joining the Track II team represents Aitken Spence PLC, Hayley’s Advantis Ltd., Hatton National Bank, Kings Investments etc., and they will meet with Chinese investors having interest in Sri Lanka.

The Track II dialogue and the China-Sri Lanka-Business Forum will be held from 5 to 6 November in Shanghai. The SIIS has lined up a distinguished team of Chinese academics and leading businessmen for the event. The Chinese team will be led by Prof. Yang Jiemian, Director of Academic Council of SIIS supported by a strong team of professionals and representatives of the mercantile sector, who are interested in establishing business relations with Sri Lanka.