ECONOMYNEXT – China wants to import more fish from Sri Lanka and invest in increasing the island’s fisheries production, Chinese ambassador Yi Xianliang said.
“We encourage Sri Lanka to supply more fish to China which is a big market,” Yi Xianliang said in an address at the opening of the National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency’s annual scientific sessions.
“We import so much from afar – from countries like Argentina and Brazil. Why not from Sri Lanka?”
Sri Lanka’s fisheries production in 2014 was 535,050 metric tons with the sector generating 266.5 million US dollars in export earnings, accounting for 2.4 percent of total export earnings.
Ambassador Yi Xianliang said the annual Chinese fisheries harvest is 646 million MT worth about 300 billion dollars with the sector alone employing 20 million people, about the same as Sri Lanka’s population.
“The fisheries industry is a major industry in China. The big challenge for us is how to do it in a sustainable way.”
Yi said that China, already a big investor in the island, is considering extending investments in to the fisheries sector.
“We want to encourage Chinese investors to come here and co-operate with Sri Lankan partners.”
Among projects the Chinese are looking at are building fisheries harbours and investing in fresh water fisheries, he said.
(COLOMBO, March 31, 2016)