The close cultural and historical links between China and Sri Lanka have grown over the years before starting from Rubber-Rice Pact in 1952. The economic relation between the two countries have boosted with the acceleration of numerous development in Sri Lanka. China plays the important role with on unprecedented growth since 2005.
Chinese investment in Sri Lanka goes back with the financial assistance for the construction of the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). While Chinese tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka increased year to year, it is becoming the largest trading partner of Sri Lanka within the Asian region. Chinese financial assistances to other development areas mainly; infrastructure, highway, energy etc. have also strengthened Sri Lanka's trade and economic linkages in recent years. Colombo - Katunayaka Expressway, Supreme Court Complex, Colombo South Harbour, Norochcholai Power Plant, Hambantota Port, and Mattala International Airport are some of financial and technical assistances and aids.
The signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and China will boost an additional opportunities also to the two countries as a concrete foundation of their historical, cultural and economical linkage. It will be the training booth for sustainable industry development in the country, and further enhances the Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) and tourism, and facilitates a new approach to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) too. In 2008 China together with Hong Kong provided the fourth largest source of FDI in to Sri Lanka.
Chairman of the Industrial Development Board of Ceylon (IDB)Nawaz Rajabdeen, looks forward to further accelerate the industrial growth in the country with more Chinese businesses in the Asia with advance technology for the next five years, and Sri Lanka will be a manufacturing hub in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region.
China had a very strong relationship irrespective of any political string that went back more decades than 1952. "Yet China is the biggest investor to Sri Lanka and we warmly welcome China at this invaluable occasion of signing a long lasting agreement."