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Chinese Ambassador H. E. Yi Xianliang's Speech at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Southern Expressway Extension Project(SEEP)

(4,July 2015,Matara,Southern Province Sri Lanka)

Your Excellency, President Maithripala Sirisena,

Hon. Ministers, MPs, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to be invited to attend this inauguration for the Southern Expressway Extension Project (SEEP, Matara--Hanmbantota). I would like to extend my warm congratulations for the SEEP's inauguration.

The SEEP is funded by preferential loans from Exim Bank of China, constructed by AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China), CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation) and CHEC (China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.). FSDI (China Railway First Surver & Design Institute Group CO.,LTD) provides project supervision consultation. The parent companies of the above mentioned four contractors are among the Fortune Global 500 with strong capability and good credibility. Particularly, I wish to point out that most workers of the SEEP will be Sri Lankans, which will boost the local job market. We believed that, with the joint efforts of the technicians from both sides, the SEEP will be another model project of excellent cooperations between China and Sri Lanka.

As a Chinese saying goes, building roads is the first step to become rich. Infrastructure construction is vital for the social and also economic development, the improvement of investment environment and the promotion of employment of a country, which is the experience of China, as well as the experience of developed and other fast developing countries. The SEEP is an important part of this island country's expressway network, which will further improve the traffic condition, facilitate the travel of the people and the transportation of goods, promote the economic development of the peripheral regions, enhance the connectivity of the Colombo Port, Hanmbantota Port and Colombo and Mattala international airports, so as to finally become the artery of Sri Lankan economy. No doubt, the SEEP will be completed with high quality in due time, and play a vital role in Sri Lankan social and economic development.

China and Sri Lanka are traditional good neighbours. China always put Sri Lanka on an important position among its neighbourhood diplomacy. No matter what happened at international fora or inside Sri Lanka, China is Committed to developing and strengthening relations with Sri lanka. China will always be a reliable friend and development partner of this island country. China is willing to work with Sri Lanka to push the strategic cooperative partnership to a new level.

Up to now, China has provided preferential loans amounting more than RMB 40 billion (over Rs. 800 billion) and donation worth more than RMB 10 billions (over Rs. 200 billion) to Sri Lanka. The two countries' enterprises have worked together and constructed a lot of mega projects which benefit Sri Lankan development and the people's livelihood. Those projects have also created more than 100 thousands job opportunities for the local people, trained tens of thousands of technicians and managers, and promoted the rapid development of such fields as construction, transportation entrepot trade, exhibition service, culture, tourism, etc.

The cooperations between China and Sri Lanka, the two developing countries, are fraternal and mutally beneficial, which has established a model of south-south cooperations. China's intention is nothing else but continuously enhancing the traditional friendship between the two countries, upgrading Sri Lanka's self-development ability and improving the livelihood of Sri lankan people. China would like to work with Sri Lanka and international community to build this Island country a real pearl of Indian ocean.

BMICH, Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre and the Supreme Court Complex etc., buildings donated and constructed by China in the past decades witness Chinese people's unselfish contribution to Sri Lankan people. Mega projects such as A9 road, Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, Colombo South Container Terminal, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and Hanmbantota port witness the fruitful cooperations between the two countries. It is sure that SEEP will once again witness the solid friendship and sincere cooperations between the two peoples.


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