Sept 09, Colombo: China has assured Sri Lanka of further assistance to develop the island's tourism industry and raise the country's living standards by launching various industry-related programs and increasing job opportunities.
Sri Lanka has received this assurance from China's senior Communist Party Leader Liu Yunshan when he met with the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office on Monday (09).
Lui Yunshan, who is also the member of the standing committee of the political bureau of the CPC Central Community of China arrived Sunday in Colombo on a three-day visit in response to an invitation President Mahinda Rajapaksa extended to him during the President's tour of China in May this year.
Lui Yunshan ranks number 5 out of the 7 members in the standing committee of the political Bureau of the CPC which is the top decision making body in China and is the level of a deputy Prime Minister.
The Chinese politician's visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and will also cover his main areas of responsibility - culture, tourism and media.
The Chinese leader has assured that more Chinese investors would be arriving in Sri Lanka in the coming months.
According to the Lui Yunshan China's CCTV channel is already producing a number of television programs to introduce Sri Lanka to the Chinese people and attract more Chinese tourists to the island and thereby help to develop the country's tourism sector.
Minister Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka hopes to attract 100,000 Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka by 2015.
Tourist arrivals from China recorded a 74.4 percent increase in the first seven months of the year reaching 20,208 over the last year's figure of 11,588. In July 3,626, Chinese tourists arrived in the country.
The Minister also briefed the Chinese visitor on the successes of the development programs and political developments.
The Chinese leader has also met with the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe today and exchanged ideas on political developments.