China awards Sri Lanka with Rs 16.5 bn grant

China announced on Sunday (11) that it was providing a RMB Yuan 600 million (LKR 16.5 billion/USD 90 million) grant to Sri Lanka in an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation.

Calling the financial assistance a “timely grant,” the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said that it would be used for medical care, education and water supplies in Sri Lanka’s rural areas and that it would “contribute to the well-being of (Sri Lankans) in a post-COVID era.”

The agreement was signed on Friday, by Wang Xiaotao, Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and S. R. Attygalle, Treasury Secretary of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Finance.

The announcement follows a visit to the Indian Ocean island nation Friday by a Chinese delegation led by Yang Jiechi, a Communist Party Politburo member and a former foreign minister.

During talks with Yang, Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa asked China to help him in disproving a perception that China-funded megaprojects are “debt traps” aimed at gaining influence in local affairs.

The statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka:

“On 9th November, an Agreement of Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, providing 600 million RMB yuan (LKR 16.5 billion) in grant assistance, was signed by H.E. Wang Xiaotao, Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and Mr. S. R. Attygalle, Treasury Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Sri Lanka, on the sidelines of H. E. Yang Jiechi’s visit to the island nation. Both President H. E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa extended their sincere appreciation on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government and people to the Chinese side for this urgently-needed assistance.

Mutually agreed by both sides, the timely grant from the Chinese Government and her people will be utilized with a high priority on medical care, education and water supply etc in rural areas of Sri Lanka, so as to contribute to the well-beings of her people in a post-COVID era.

Besides, during the meeting between H. E. Yang Jiechi, member of Political Bureau of CPC and Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, they also went through other Chinese grant projects such as the National Nephrology (Kidney Disease) Hospital in Polonnaruwa and the new Out-Patient Department (OPD) of National Hospital in Colombo and expressed their satisfaction on the good progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic.”