7 February marked the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka . Over the past 65 years, China and Sri Lanka, on the basis of mutual understanding and support, have set up a good example of friendly coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation. China Eximbank is one of the first Chinese banks that provide financial support to Sri Lanka. The projects financed by the Bank cover a number of sectors including infrastructure, transportation, energy and people’s livelihood, helping improve people’s well-being and the industrial and agricultural infrastructure and injecting strong impetus into the country’s economic and social development. These projects contributed to China-Sri Lanka economic cooperation and trade and reflected an joint effort of the two countries in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative.
Water Supply and Sewerage Project in Greater Kurunegala
The project, financed by the Bank, is the first water supply and sewage project jointly built by China and Sri Lanka, and the first large-scale comprehensive water treatment project outside Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. A drinking water supply system with a capacity of 5000m³ per day and a sewage treatment system with a capacity of 4500m³ per day were put in place, making it possible for over 70,000 people to have 24-hour access to clean and safe drinking water. People’s Daily published a feature article titled Finally We Had an Advanced Waterworks, which gave a detailed description of the changes brought by the project to local people’s lives.
Extension of Southern Expressway
Financed by the Bank, the project is the largest engineering project implemented by China in Sri Lanka, and is referred to as the Road Leading to Prosperity by the Sri Lankan people. The newly constructed extension from Matara, Sri Lanka’s 4th largest city to Hambantota, with a total length of 96 kilometers, was fully completed and put into operation in 2020.
The extension links Sri Lanka’s four major cities, namely Colombo, Galle, Hambantota and Matara, and connects the country’s two important ports and two international airports. The travel time between Colombo and Hambantota has been largely shortened and the transportation capacity of Sri Lanka has been significantly improved. Moreover, the project has promoted unimpeded economic development and facilitated the development of tourism, thus laying a solid foundation for the economic take-off of the southern region of Sri Lanka and the economic and social development of the country.
Matara-Beliatte Section of Matara-Kataragama Railway
Financed by the Bank, the railway, with a total length of 27 kilometers and a designed speed of 120 kilometers per hour, is one of the key projects in the infrastructure connectivity sector of Sri Lanka. Before it was built, most of the railways in Sri Lanka were out of date and lack of maintenance for years, with an average speed of less than 80 kilometers per hour. As the first newly-built railway in the country over the past nine decades, the railway helps shorten the commuting time of local residents by 1.5 hours on average. By significantly improving local transport efficiency, it contributes to increasing local employment and boosting economic and social development of the country.