Sri Lanka and Russia discuss ways to boost economic and technical cooperation
Daily FT , 2021-07-03
A meeting of the Co-Chairs of the Sri Lanka-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation took place in a video conference format on 15 June.
The Co-Chairs discussed the development of existing and promising areas of cooperation in detail at the meeting.
The Russian side was headed by Federal Agency for Fishery Head Ilya Shestakov and represented by the officials from the Federal Agency for Fisheries, Ministry of Economic Development, Federal Customs Service, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Rosinfokominvest JSC.
The Sri Lankan side was headed by Ministry of Trade Secretary Badrani Jayawardana and represented by officials from the Ministry of Trade, Foreign Ministry, Department of Commerce and Sri Lanka Embassy in Russia.
In his welcome speech, Co-Chair of the Russian side Ilya Shestakov emphasised that Sri Lanka was a longstanding and reliable partner of Russia in South Asia. He further stated that Russia was convinced that cooperation between the two countries had a significant potential for further development and it was prepared to work together with Sri Lanka for the successful implementation of the areas agreed by both parties.
In her opening remarks, Co-Chair of the Sri Lankan side Badrani Jayawardana mentioned that Russia being a longstanding trading partner with Sri Lanka, it was obvious that a number of untapped opportunities are available to expand bilateral trade. Further, both sides would be able to strengthen ties in other areas such as investment, tourism and science and technology through proceedings of the Intergovernmental Commission.
The Russian side agreed for further cooperation in the customs affaires and assistance for mutual trade. Cooperation in the fields of energy, chemical, pharmaceutical and agriculture were also discussed. The importance of organising the proposed working group on agriculture between the two countries and the Russian-Sri Lankan Fisheries Commission at the earliest, was highlighted. Cooperation in the IT sector was also in the agenda of the meeting.
The Sri Lankan side outlined in detail about ways and means of expanding market access in the gem and jewellery sector, Ceylon tea, and fisheries sector in the Russian market, and briefed on the issues that are faced by Sri Lankan partners. In the sphere of technical assistance, the Sri Lankan side requested R&D for improvement of the pharmaceutical sector, agro-based products, cooperation in the establishment of food safety management facility and improving of its standards.
The Russian side proposed, if the sanitary and epidemiological situation permits, to hold the third session of the Sri Lanka-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation in offline format during autumn 2021 in Moscow. The Co-Chairs meeting was concluded with remarks that the forthcoming third session of the Sri Lanka-Russia Intergovernmental Commission would be the right platform to discuss, at length, the ways and means of enhancing the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
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