Govt. to leverage Lanka’s geo-strategic position to enhance trade: Dr. de Silva | Daily News

Govt. to leverage Lanka’s geo-strategic position to enhance trade: Dr. de Silva


The government plans to leverage the country’s geo-strategic position to maximise their relationships with both historic and new trading partners, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said.

“This is to reach the goal of repositioning Sri Lanka as a hub of the Indian Ocean as well as a transhipment port for the Bay of Bengal trade,” Dr de Silva told a public forum on “The Indian Ocean” organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies of the National University of Singapore recently.

Speaking on the theme “Sri Lanka’s role in the Indian Ocean and the changing global dynamics”, Dr. de Silva emphasised the need for a wise foreign policy given the geo-political realities of the region and to ensure the prosperity and safety of future generations.

De Silva said Sri Lanka supports China’s One Belt - One Road economic initiative in line with its historical role played in the Maritime Silk Route, which will consolidate the country’s

position to become the Hub of the Indian Ocean while further integrating it with the Asian markets”.

The other speakers who participated at this inaugural session of Distinguished Visitor Lecture series included Shivshankar Menon, former national security advisor to the Prime Minister of India; Ambassador Gopinath Pillai, Chairman of the ISAS and Sanjeev Sanyal, economist, writer

and visiting fellow of IDFC Institute of Mumbai, India.

During the visit, the Deputy Minister also met with Albert Chua, Second Permanent Secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed training collaboration between the two Foreign Ministries. At the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Deputy Minister met Dr. Francis Chong, Director General and discussed the status of the on-going FTA negotiations between the two countries.

The Deputy Minister briefed the Singapore side about the i3 concept mooted to enter into a tripartite trade agreement involving Sri Lanka, Singapore and New Zealand. This concept put forward by Sri Lanka is aimed at boosting intra - commonwealth trade and investment based on the “Kotte Statement on International Trade and Investment”. (SS) 


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