Sri Lanka strives to boost economic ties with Gulf nations

Sri Lanka has stepped up efforts to elevate its relations with the countries in Gulf and West Asia in a bid to boost economic ties, Daily Mirror reported quoting  senior Lankan Minister

Apr 12, 2021

Sri Lanka has stepped up efforts to elevate its relations with the countries in Gulf and West Asia in a bid to boost economic ties, Daily Mirror reported quoting  senior Lankan Minister.

The state minister for Money, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal, on a tour of the region to explore possibilities of furthering economic cooperation, told Daily Mirror over phone from Doha that he had fruitful meetings with officials and the ministers of Oman and Qatar.

Asserting that no specific decision was taken, he said the areas of cooperation were flagged. Investment in tourism and government securities and upskilling of Sri Lankans seeking employment in the region were among the focal areas.

He said bilateral economic cooperation with these countries remains way below the potential at the moment.

“There is potential for us to increase our cooperation. We will do it. We find a great reservoir of goodwill for Sri Lanka in these countries,” said Cabraal, who has gone as special representative of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He visited Oman from April 7 to 10, carrying a special message addressed to Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman, the report said.

The visit also coincided with the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman which falls this year.

Cabraal handed over the Prime Minister’s special message to Sayyid Asaad bin Tarik al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and the Personal Representative of Sultan Haitham bin Tarik during an audience last Friday.

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Muscat also organised a series of meetings for Minister Cabraal and the accompanying 12-member Sri Lankan delegation from the Central Bank and the State as well as private banks of Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan delegation met with the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman, Qais bin Mohamed Al Yousef and discussed a range of areas for mutual economic cooperation including trade and investment between the two countries.

The delegation also met the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Finance, Abdullah Al Harthy, Chairman of the Tax Authority, Sai Nassir Al-Shukaily, Deputy Chairman of Oman Investments Authority (OIA) at the Ministry of Finance of Oman and explored areas that have synergies for bilateral collaboration between the two countries.

The delegation also interacted with with the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, Tahir Salim Al Amri on ways to further enhancem cooperation between the Central Banks of both countries and agreed to sign an MoU between the two banks in the near future.

The delegation also held fruitful discussion with the Chief Executive Officer of Muscat Bank, Waleed K. Al Hashar and engaged with other prominent private banks in Oman namely Bank of Dhofar, National Bank of Oman and the Bank of Sohar.

The Sri Lankan embassy organised a productive investment promotion meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Madayn and the Chairman of Shumookh Investment and Services of Oman Hilal Al-Hasani in a move to attract foreign direct investments to Sri Lanka.

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