by Shiran Illanperuma
COLOMBO, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese economy is resilient and will rebound from the hardships caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, a leading expert has said.
Kenneth De Zilwa, managing director of Sri Lanka's financial consultancy Econsult Asia, and a senior consultant to China Harbour Engineering Company, expressed such confidence in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.
China has survived many adversities in the past decades, he said, and the short-term revenue decrease caused by the COVID-19 outbreak will be "offset by the Chinese government's fiscal and monetary stimulus policies which will revive the production cycle."
Among the external positive factors, he said, "overall commodity prices have tapered off to reasonable levels, which speaks well for the Chinese economy which is a significant player in the raw material import space."
The expert added: "Countries like Sri Lanka could tap into this corrective cycle too."
De Zilwa praised the Chinese government for acting swiftly in the efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, saying "China is perhaps the only country in the world that can react in the organized and structured manner that we have seen."
"China built a hospital with 1,600 beds in six days, while no other country in the world can even think of putting up a building in the same amount of time," he said.
The expert said the impact of COVID-19 on the Sri Lankan economy has been minimal and largely contained to the tourism sector, of which Chinese visitors are large contributors, while citing a 10-15 percent drop in crude oil prices as having "a positive impact on Sri Lanka's balance of payments."