August 23rd, 2019

 Deepen China-Sri Lanka relations and promote international
production capacity cooperation in South Asia

(From On July 30, 2019, at the invitation of World Peace Association, Mr. Xiao Wunan visited Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, where he held meetings and discussions with the government, enterprises and people from all walks of life. He reached a number of constructive consensuses on promoting production capacity cooperation between China and South Asia, enhancing bilateral cooperation in investment, trade, culture and tourism, and strengthening Buddhist cultural exchanges.

Mr. Xiao Wunan, Mr. Nawaz Rajabdeen (left), National Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Mr. Deshabandu M. Macky Hashim (right), Vice Chairman of CMSMI, pose for a group photo

During the meetings with Mr. Nawaz Rajabdeen, National Director of the UNIDO, Mr. Deshabandu M. Macky Hashim, Vice Chairman of CMSMI, Ms. Hui Dias Bandaranayake from Bandaranayake family and other influential institutions and personages, all parties agreed that it is of great strategic significance to strengthen people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between China and Sri Lanka from different perspectives of the economy, culture and religion. At this stage, the bilateral Buddhist exchanges and cooperation can play a special role in deepening bilateral relations. Mr. Xiao Wunan introduced Sri Lanka to the overall situation of Chinese Buddhism and the yearning of Chinese Buddhists for many Buddhist holy places in Sri Lanka. He also introduced the situation of Jinhua Zhizhe Buddism Temple in Zhejiang Province, and proposed to build a new "Golden Link" between the Buddhist community in South Asia and China by taking Jinhua Zhizhe Buddism Temple as a window, and organize a series of activities including worshiping Buddhist relics (Sarira), pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Zen training.

Mr. Xiao Wunan and Great Monk Jie Ren (right) from Jinhua Zhizhe Buddism Temple pose for a group photo

During a visit to Mr. Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade of Sri Lanka, Mr. Xiao Wunan explained the feasibility of international production capacity cooperation between Sri Lanka and China, and how to make full use of the cooperation mechanism of South Asian countries including Sri Lanka, especially the advantages that Sri Lanka has signed FTA cooperation agreements with India and Pakistan. He explained the necessity of establishing China’s high-tech industrial park, and believed that building China's E-bike, LED, mobile phone and other industrial clusters in Sri Lanka has immeasurable space and prospect in the face of the market of South Asia's 1.8 billion population and ASEAN's 600 million population. At the same time, he suggested that Sri Lanka should give full play to its location and port advantages, overtake in the corners of emerging industrial markets such as e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce, avoid the old road of “post industrial era” and adopt a new model of sustainable development.

Mr. Xiao Wunan, Mr. Malik Samarawickrama (center), Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade of Sri Lanka, and Ms. Hui Dias Bandaranayake (left) from Bandaranayake family pose for a group photo

Mr. Xiao Wunan and his delegation visited the Parliament of Sri Lanka and held a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka. They continued to exchange ideas and reached a broad consensus on topics of interest to both sides, such as promoting production capacity cooperation, agricultural and tourism development. Among them, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe highly praised many ideas of agricultural and tourist cooperation and promoting Chinese Buddhists' Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka.

Mr. Xiao Wunan and Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe (right), Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, pose for a group photo

The Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation (APECF) has played a proactive role in promoting cooperation between China and South Asia. In 2012, it successfully implemented the project of Lumbini Buddhist & Cultural Conservation Zone, which received high attention and praise from the United Nations, the European Union and South Asian countries and played an important role in integrated development of local society and economy. We believe that this visit will create a new situation for further optimizing and enhancing the cooperative relations among South Asian countries.

Mr. Xiao Wunan (second from right), APECF Executive Vice Chairman, and Mr. Prachanda (second from left), former Prime Minister of Nepal and President of the Lumbini Development National Directive Committee of Nepal, sign an MoU