Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Sri Lanka and Maldives to further strengthen and diversify trade / investment

Sri Lanka has expressed a keen desire to strengthen and diversify the existing close and cordial bilateral relations with the Maldives into a vibrant and multifaceted partnership for the mutual benefit of the people of the two nations.

Considering the long-standing friendship between the Maldives and Sri Lanka, President Ranil Wickremesinghe requested the Maldives to invest in Sri Lanka’s high-tech agriculture sector, cruise tourism and high-end tourism sectors.

He made this invitation during a meeting with the Vice President of the Maldives, Faisal Naseem at the Presidential Secretariat tin Colombo on Friday (Dec.02).

President Wickremesinghe also requested the Maldives to join hands with Sri Lanka in establishing the climate change university.

The duo also discussed the growing drug menace affecting this region and President Ranil Wickremesinghe sought the assistance of the Maldives in combatting the drug scourge.

President Wickremesinghe also told the Maldivian Vice President that he intends to invite the Maldivian President to Sri Lanka once his residence, which was destroyed during the July protests, is rebuilt.

This was conveyed by the High Commissioner-designate of Sri Lanka to Maldives, A.M.J. Sadiq, following presenting of his Letter of Credence and the Letter of Recall of his predecessor to the Maldivian President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the President’s Office in Male on February 02.

They also highlighted the importance of enhancing economic cooperation, in particular, covering the fields of education, health, as well as bilateral trade and investment. Sri Lanka has sought the assistance of the Maldives in the war on drugs.

Today, the diversification in trade is a strong component of the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Maldives. The Maldives is the third largest export destination for Sri Lanka among the SAARC countries, after India and Pakistan.

The value of total trade between the two countries, which stood at US$ 271.1 million in 2017, has increased to the level of US$ 304.3 million in 2018.

As noted earlier, hundreds of Sri Lankan professionals and skilled workers are cordially received in the Maldives.

Of late, there has been an increase in the number of employment opportunities for Sri Lankan in the Maldives. Sri Lanka is ready supply more professional and skilled workers, particularly in the fields of construction, hospitality and education.

In order to explore the market entry possibilities, procedures, and regulations applicable to foreign investments, including joint ventures in civil construction, MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing), and engineering services, Sri Lanka and the Maldives expect to collaborate in construction services.

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