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Ambassador H.E. Cheng Xueyuan's Opening Remarks on BRI Seminar

Dr. Rong Ying, Vice President of China Institute of International Studies,

Dr. Harinda Vidanage, Director of Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies,

Excellencies from diplomatic corps,

Dear Scholars from different countries,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ayubowan and good afternoon.

It is my great pleasure to attend the Seminar today. First of all, I would like to warmly welcome all the distinguished scholars from all over the world, and sincerely thank Dr. Harinda and all the staffs from BCIS for their hard working. It is meaningful for us to gather in Colombo, to discuss the Belt and Road Initiative at its fifth birthday from national, regional and global perspectives. I would also like to take this opportunity, to share with you my views on BRI and China-Sri Lanka cooperation under its framework.

From an overall perspective, the world is undergoing great changes today, with rising perils of unilateralism, nationalism and protectionism. Instability and uncertainty continue to increase, while economic globalization and global governance encounter setbacks. To tackle all these challenges, to promote the development of the world economy and the reform of the global governance, BRI has provided the world a Chinese and common solution.

Over the past five years, the BRI has developed from an initiative to a reality, from a vision to an important platform, and has become more and more popular around the world. By the end of this September, nearly 130 countries, regions and organizations had signed more than 150 agreements under the BRI framework with China. The trade value between China and BRI countries exceed US$ 5.5 trillion. China’s direct investment to these countries exceed US$ 70 billion, which have created 244,000 jobs for the local people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sri Lanka is one of the first countries to openly support and join in BRI. In the last five years, in-depth exchanges and cooperation in various fields has blossomed under the BRI framework. The completion of the Norocholai Power Station provided about 40% of the nation’s electricity supply, the Colombo Airport Expressway has brought great convenience to domestic and international travelers. The CICT has became the fastest growing container terminal in Asia. And the Moragahakanda Project, which is the biggest water reservoir in Sri Lanka, has brought great benefits to local agriculture and people.

Besides, the under-construction Colombo Port City, as well as the Hambantota Port and Industrial Park, are expected to become the new engines for Sri Lankan economic take-off. The pragmatic cooperation between our two countries has made a great contribution to Sri Lanka’s development, and also brought tangible benefits to our two countries and two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a new initiative, BRI need to keep advancing in the exploration, keep growing in the challenge, and keep innovating in the development. We are glad to see that more and more countries have already begun to share their achievements and constructive suggestions under the BRI framework. Since its birth, BRI has always adhered to the golden rules of “joint consultation, contribution and shared benefits”, followed international and market rules. The cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is a very good example of the BRI practice. We are confident that as long as all countries could make joint efforts and constantly push forward BRI cooperation, it will bring more and better prospects to the world.

As we all know that, the BRI consists Five Connectivities, among which policy connectivity is the start and people’s hearts connectivity is the end. I believe our seminar today will be a good opportunity to communicate policies, promote understandings and bring our hearts closer. I encourage all scholars and audience could make full use of this seminar, to have a in-depth discussion, to contribute more wisdom and inject new momentum to this great initiative.

We also sincerely hope that all Sri Lankan friends could join hands with China, concentrate in promoting our pragmatic cooperation under BRI framework and jointly build a beautiful future for our countries and peoples.

On conclusion, I wish a great success to the seminar and all of you! Now, the floor is all yours!

Thank you!

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