Sri Lanka on Saturday welcomed China's intention to invest over 5 billion U.S. dollars in a new economic zone in the south of the island country.
Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said at the launch of the southern economic development zone in Hambantota that this was a great opportunity for Sri Lanka, as more than 50 Chinese investors were interested in investing in the southern development project.
He said China would invest about 5 billion U.S. dollars in the new economic zone within the next three to five years, which could also help create 100,000 jobs especially for the people of Hambantota and the south.
"With all this, no negative force can stop the corporation between China and Sri Lanka, and no one can stop the strong friendship between our two peoples," the ambassador said.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appreciated China's investment in the southern economic zone and also thanked China Merchants Holdings for helping develop the Hambantota Port.
"No one can stop us from establishing a new Sri Lanka so that our youth will benefit. Like Malaysia, Singapore and China, we will also be proudly developed," the prime minister said.
He also stressed that the southern development zone would be the most important economic activity for Sri Lanka and the government, particularly for Hambantota people.