Sri Lanka president seeks funding from China Exim Bank

Aug 11, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa has discussed further funding from China’s Export Import Bank to expand a coal power plant, a highway and a bunkering project, the foreign ministry said.

China is building a port in the southern Sri Lankan town of Hambantota, which is President Rajapaksa’s home constituency. President Rajapaksa who is on a visit to China has also met Chinese president Hu Jintao and China has agreed to “favourably” view concessions for Sri Lanka tea as the trade deficit was heavily weighted in favour of China.

In a meeting with Exim Bank president Li Ruogu, Rajapaksa had talks on getting additional funding for a coal power project in Puttalam, and an expressway from the capital Colombo to the main international airport in Katunayake, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The coal power plant power project is being built on a turn-key basis by China National Machinery Equipment Import & Export Corporation.

The award of the Colombo-Katunayake expressway is yet to be formally announced in Colombo, but the foreign ministry said discussions had been held with China Metallurgical Group Corporation chief Shen Heting over the road project.