Ali Sabry Presiding Over the Meeting and Delivering a Speech
On the morning of July 22, China (Chongqing) - Sri Lanka Roundtable on Poverty Alleviation and Development Cooperation was held in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Yuan Jiajun, Secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, attended the roundtable and delivered a keynote speech. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry moderated the roundtable and delivered a speech.
Important attendees also included Qi Zhenhong, Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka; Guo Yezhou, Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee; and Chen Mingbo and Luo Lin, Chongqing municipal leaders.
On the morning of July 22, in the Temple Trees of Sri Lanka, representatives from governments, enterprises, and universities of Sri Lanka and Chongqing gathered in the beautiful city of Colombo to exchange views on the theme of “Poverty Reduction and Development Cooperation”. The roundtable was also addressed by ministers of Sri Lanka, including Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation; Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education; Anupa Pasqual, State Minister of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment; Nalin Fernando, Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security; Mohan de Silva, State Minister of Agriculture; and Diana Gamage, State Minister of Tourism. Representatives of government departments and universities in Chongqing also made speeches, providing suggestions for poverty alleviation and contributing to cooperation between the two sides.
Yuan Jiajun noted in his keynote speech that China and Sri Lanka have been respecting and supporting each other since the diplomatic relations between the two sides were established 66 years ago. China and Sri Lanka have set an example of an amiable relationship and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries of different sizes. We are willing to jointly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen economic and trade ties, expand people-to-people exchanges, and achieve more tangible results through high-quality cooperation under the BRI framework. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has been deploying and implementing targeted poverty alleviation, achieving historic achievements. This roundtable, under the theme of “Poverty Reduction and Development Cooperation” is of great significance in realizing the Global Development Initiative and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also contributes Chinese wisdom and solutions to poverty alleviation in Sri Lanka and beyond.
Yuan Jiajun said that Chongqing, the only municipality directly under the central government in China’s central and western regions, is home to large urban areas, rural areas, mountainous areas, and reservoir areas. The poverty alleviation in Chongqing is an epitome of China’s miracle in poverty alleviation. The further consolidation of the achievements provides a solid foundation for building a modern Chongqing. We will also comprehensively promote rural revitalization so as to explore a new path of wealth generation and modernization in mountainous and reservoir areas with Chongqing characteristics. As the seat of the China-South Asian Countries Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Center, Chongqing has played a positive role in promoting the experience of China’s poverty reduction and rural revitalization in South Asian countries. Looking ahead, we are willing to deepen China-Sri Lanka poverty reduction cooperation, give full play to Chongqing’s advantages, support Sri Lanka’s poverty reduction, and strengthen practical cooperation in building the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. This will be a boost to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and long-term development, which will bring more benefits to the people of both sides.
Ali Sabry said that the Sri Lanka - China (Chongqing) Roundtable on Poverty Alleviation and Development Cooperation will actively promote China-Sri Lanka relations. Our friendship has a long history. The two countries have carried out a series of extensive and pragmatic cooperation in trade, investment, and infrastructure construction, which have reached remarkable achievements, bringing great benefits to the people of both countries. China has completed the arduous task of eliminating absolute poverty, made historic and significant contributions to global poverty reduction, and taken the lead in the world’s poverty reduction efforts. The roundtable is conducive to finding new areas and rooms for cooperation, better promoting development and prosperity, which provides help for Sri Lanka to do a better job in poverty reduction and leads the bilateral relations to a new high in the new historical period. Chongqing is an important base for modern manufacturing in China, with fast and high-quality economic development, and has achieved remarkable results. Sri Lanka and Chongqing enjoy bright prospects for potential cooperation. Sri Lankan will further strengthen communication and exchanges with Chongqing so as to promote practical cooperation in trade and investment, technology transfer, education, and tourism, which will better benefit the people of both countries and promote global economic development.
On July 21, Yuan Jiajun also paid a visit to Hapugala Maha Vidyalaya School in Galle, Sri Lanka, to witness the unveiling of the China-Sri Lanka Friendship Chongqing Smart Classroom, and donated food packages to families in need. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries; Anupa Pasqua, State Minister of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment and Sri Lankan student representatives delivered thank-you speeches. In his speech, Yuan Jiajun said that sub-national cooperation is important to country-to-country cooperation. Chongqing is willing to actively promote the two sides’ communication and exchanges and improve practical cooperation in relevant fields to accelerate high-quality regional development and allow development achievements to truly benefit the peoples. Education is the foundation for stronger national development. Chongqing donated smart classrooms, hoping that local children can learn more knowledge through advanced digital technology. During the exchange with students from the school’s astronomy club, Yuan Jiajun encouraged the children to set lofty ideals and study hard every day so as to become pillars of national development.
Yuan Jiajun conducted in-depth studies on port construction and marine economy development during the visit. At the Colombo International Container Terminal, Yuan Jiajun had a better understanding of the management and operation of the international container terminal and the overall planning of the Hambantota Port. He proposed to make good use of the models, including the “Port-Park” model, and find a suitable path to actively participate in the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. This will contribute to the connectivity among Western China, ASEAN countries, and the world. In the Colombo Port City, Yuan Jiajun followed up on the progress of the project, its planning, industrial development, transportation layout, as well as the development and operation of the Port City. He also explored the city development as well as the protection of historical and cultural heritage in Sri Lanka.
Relevant officials from Sri Lanka and officials from the Chongqing Municipal Government departments attended the events.