A five-member delegation from one of China’s oldest and largest think-tanks, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), undertaking a three-day visit to Sri Lanka held discussions with Milinda Moragoda, founder of Pathfinder Foundation (PF), and senior officials of foundation last week.
Following the conclusion of discussions, the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation through collaborative institutional relations.
The two delegations discussed several issues of mutual interest. President Ji highlighted China’s interest in developing infrastructure that would connect western China with Europe and eastern China with countries in the Indian Ocean by developing the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
The meeting was co-chaired by Moragoda and Prof. Ji Zhiye, President of CICIR. Among the participants from the Chinese side were Zhang Xuegang, Deputy Director, Institute of South & Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies; Ms. Li Li, Deputy Director, Institute of South & Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies; Song Qingrun, Associate Research Fellow and Ms. Nie Huihui, Assistant Research Fellow of CICIR.
The PF representation consisted of Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman, M D D Pieris, Director, Luxman Siriwardena, Executive Director and Ms. Ameera Arooz, Project Manager.
Moragoda spoke of the need for Sri Lanka to attract Chinese investment to the island, taking into consideration the fact that during the period of internal conflict, the government was unable to focus on infrastructure development. Both sides agreed to devote time to study the issue and come up with conclusions and recommendations.
China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) is a research institution devoted to studying international issues.