Bank of China opens branch in Sri Lanka



By APD writer Easwaran Rutnam

COLOMBO, March 29 (APD) -- Sri Lanka said that the opening of the Bank of China in Sri Lanka will be important for investments and also Sri Lanka's economy.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking at the opening of the Bank of China branch in Colombo on Wednesday night, said that with several Chinese funded projects underway in Sri Lanka, the opening of the Bank of China in Sri Lanka will help with the use of the Chinese currency in Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka's economic relationship with China is growing with agreements reached on several projects.

He said that Colombo is already fast developing with the Chinese funded port city being constructed and once completed will be a financial city.

Wickremesinghe said that by the end of the decade Sri Lanka will have a good infrastructure network between Hambantota and Kandy.

The Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka is looking to be the financial hub of Asia as China becomes the powerhouse of Asia.

He said that for this reason Sri Lanka is now working with China on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The Prime Minister said that the FTA with China will be in addition to the FTA Sri Lanka is discussing with India resulting in Sri Lanka having economic trade deals with the two major countries in Asia.

He said that the opening of the Bank of China in Sri Lanka will help bring Chinese investments to Sri Lanka and also help Sri Lanka's goal to become the financial hub of Asia.

The Bank of China, the world’s fourth biggest in terms of assets, marked the opening of its operations in Sri Lanka ceremoniously at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest.

Wang Xiquan, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisor of Bank of China, Bank of China Country Manager Wang Chuan, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan and Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy attended the opening.