China wants JV projects in Sri Lanka with Indian companies

June 06, 2016 (LBO) – China wants its projects in Sri Lanka to be joint ventures either with local companies or international companies, including Indian companies, the Chinese Ambassador in the island, Yi Xianliang, said.

According to a New Indian Express report, the ambassador said the perception that Chinese projects are primarily meant to bolster China’s strategic interests in the region will be dispelled if there are Joint Ventures with local entities and foreign companies run as commercial enterprises.

China has no hidden agenda, he emphasized, speaking at the Regional Center for Strategic Studies. The 21st century Maritime Silk Road is meant to promote development so that every country on the route benefits from it, he said.

The mutual antagonism in South Asia will be mitigated if China, India and Pakistan form an economic alliance and co-opt Lanka and other South Asian nations, he added.

Lanka and India should sign the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), and he had discussed a China-India-Pakistan-Lanka business link up with the Indian envoy in Colombo and found him to be responsive.

Yi Xianliang said that the Marketing Manager of the Chinese company executing the 1.4 billion dollar Colombo Port City project had gone to India recently and found that Indian companies were willing to invest in the mega project about which India had reservations earlier.

Dispelling the notion that China had exceptionally close ties with the Rajapaksa regime, the envoy said that China deals with Lankan state and not with any particular regime.