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Friday, 08 April 2016 - 14:37
China – Sri Lankan free trade agreement this year
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China and Sri Lanka pledged to further push forward their strategic cooperative partnership and inked a series of documents in such fields as economic cooperation, finance, Medicare and transportation.

During the talks with visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hailed the profound friendship between the two countries, saying the bilateral ties have withstood the test of time.

Li said China is willing to deepen mutual trust, extend practical cooperation with Sri Lanka so as to take their strategic partnership of cooperation to a new height.

He said the continued development of China-Sri Lanka cooperation on major projects has brought benefits for the people of both countries.

The Sri Lankan government officially informed the Chinese investors of resuming the construction of the multi-billion dollar Port City project last month, one year after its suspension.

Li called on both sides to speed up the negotiations on the second phase operation of the Hambantota Port in the southern part of Sri Lanka, so as to help Sri Lanka give full play to its geological advantage to become an important international logistic hub.

He also called on both countries to conduct production capacity cooperation in order to exert China's advantage on equipment manufacture and expedite Sri Lanka's industrialization.

Li said, calling for support from Sri Lanka, China encourages its companies to invest in Sri Lanka and participate in the cooperation in industrial parks, special economic zones, and the processing and manufacturing sector.

Both prime ministers agreed to further advance FTA talks between the two countries, expressing the hope of seeing tangible results come out within the year.

They also called for enhanced cooperation on construction of ports, airports, roads, railways and in the fields of finance, science and technology and culture.

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