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China to help SL address challenges of financial debt

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Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, vowed that China will help Sri Lanka effectively address the challenges of financial debt on Wednesday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the sidelines of the seventh China-South Asian Expo in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

China is always Sri Lanka’s reliable strategic partner and appreciates that Sri Lanka has always been friendly to China and has stood by China on issues related to its core interests, he said.

China also firmly supports Sri Lanka in safeguarding its sovereign independence and national dignity, and is willing to strengthen exchanges of experience in governance as well as cooperation in various fields with Sri Lanka, he said.

Wang vowed that China will help Sri Lanka improve its capacity for independent development, get rid of the “poverty trap” and the “trap of non-development,” accelerate its industrialization process and agricultural modernization.

He expressed belief that Sri Lanka will overcome its temporary difficulties, find a development path in line with its national conditions, and realize revitalization and prosperity.

Noting that Sri Lanka is an important participant and beneficiary of the China-South Asia Expo, he welcomed the Sri Lankan side to continue to make good use of this important platform to further explore the Chinese market.

For his part, Gunawardena thanked China for its firm support for Sri Lanka in safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for its timely and effective assistance to Sri Lanka in times of difficulty.

The forward-looking flagship cooperation projects between the two sides such as the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port will bring benefits to the Sri Lankan people and play a key role in regional connectivity and sustainable development, he said.

Sri Lanka will work with China to expand cooperation in economy, trade and investment, agriculture, tourism, energy and innovation to help Sri Lanka achieve food self-sufficiency and accelerate the development of key industries, he added.

(CGTN)

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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