Vice President, Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Dr. Long Guoqiang declared open the new office of Pathfinder Foundation’s ‘China-Sri Lanka Cooperation studies Centre’ (CSLCSC) located at the ‘Riverpoint’ complex of MMBL-Pathfinder group at Peliyagoda on Friday 14, December.
The event was witnessed by a high-level delegation from the DRC and senior officials of the Embassy of China. The Chinese delegation was warmly welcomed by Milinda Moragoda, Founder and senior members of PF.
Pathfinder Foundation, an advocacy and research think-tank functioning since 2006 has three Centres focusing on China-Sri Lanka relations, India-Sri Lanka relations and Law of the Sea. While the China and the India centres focus on developing relations with those two countries, Centre for Law of the Sea will give its attention to issues relating to the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and ‘Blue Economy’.
The visiting delegation had substantive discussions with the Founder of PF and its senior staff members on the broader theme ‘Cooperation between China & Sri Lanka in developing production capacity within the framework of BRI’. Both sides exchanged views on promoting and facilitating Chinese investment, establishing and operating industrial parks and formulating policies for strengthening future bilateral cooperation.
The Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council is a policy research and consulting institution functioning directly under the central government of China. Its major function is to conduct advance research on overall comprehensive strategic and long-term issues in the field of economic and social development, as well as key issues relating to reforms and opening up, provide policy options and consulting advice to the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council.
During the discussion Founder Moragoda highlighted that PF had been in operation for over ten years playing a catalytic role in advocating economic reforms, opening up of the economy and developing bilateral track II relations with countries such as China, India, the USA etc., and promoting dialogue and exchanges with several other countries including Singapore. He also highlighted the important role that can be played by the CSLCSC for furthering bilateral relations for mutual benefit and the need to continue and strengthen its programs. He further explained the role played by the Centre for India-Sri Lanka Initiatives (CILI) and the Centre for Law of the Sea (CLOS) functioning under PF. Appreciating the steps taken to station Dr. Zhao Ying with CSLCSC, Moragoda underlined the important role played in that regard by the Embassy of China in Colombo and the South West University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing. He said similar arrangement is being worked out with India, to attach an Associate Director to CILI.