Hon. Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris,
Distinguished guests, Dear students,
And thank you, Mr. Liang Yi, for your wonderful speech. It's my great pleasure to be invited to attend the opening ceremony today.
"Seeds for the Future" is a global flagship programme of Huawei Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) efforts. And since the programme was launched in Sri Lanka in 2016, 40 college students have been sent to China to be immersed in the learning of Chinese culture and Information & Communication Technology(ICT), which has received good social results.
As we all know, talents are the most treasured resource for a country's sustainable development, and digital skills are an essential part of a country's development strategies. China, despite a developing country, has always attached great importance to sharing its development experience as well as technological achievements with friends, and requests the overseas Chinese companies to fulfill their social responsibility. "Seeds for the Future" is a very representative program of such exchanges.
China and Sri Lanka are good neighbors looking out for each other, good friends treating each other with equality and trust, and good partners in mutually beneficial cooperation.
Throughout more than 1600 years' history of friendly exchanges between China and Sri Lanka, mutual learning and common progress are the most outstanding features. In recent years, with the deepening alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor, fruitful outcomes in various cooperation areas and stronger sense of happiness and gain have been brought to our two peoples. Looking to the future, I believe China-Sri Lanka relations will enjoy greater development.
2020 is an extraordinary year for all countries around the world. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the program has to be conducted online this year. I welcome all of you to have a field trip to China when the situation permits, and I hope that you will become civil envoy of China-Sri Lanka friendship and make more contributions to the development of our bilateral relations. I am also very glad to see that more female students devoting themselves to ICT studies. There is a famous quote from the late Chairman Mao Zedong that, "Women hold up half of the sky", and I believe the benefits of mastering ICT skills can be extended to not only women themselves but also to their children and at least three generations to come. To conclude, I wish all of you a fruitful experience and achieve great results!