- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 11:18
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Sri Lanka has become an attractive destination for trade, investment and tourism in the world due to its strategic location in the centre of international sea and air routes said Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development participating in a discussion with Jerzy Pomianowski, Undersecretary of State for Oriental Policy of Poland, at the Ministry of Economic development on Thursday (10).
"Sri Lanka has achieved peace and political stability after ending the three decade old terrorism. The country has free trade agreements with India, Pakistan and all south Asian countries. Therefore international traders and investors have taken a keen interest in investing and developing trade relations with Sri Lanka" he said.
Pomianowski said the Economy of Poland is the sixth largest in the EU and one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Polish economic growth rate was one of the best in the Europe. Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and today stands out as a success story among transition economies. It is the only country in the European Union to avoid a recession through the 2008-09 economic downturns.
He recalled his Foreign Service career started first in Sri Lanka as a UNESCO official and participated in research projects in Mahawali area. He loves this country and he will devote his time to start a new era of Polish - Sri Lanka relationship. Poland is going through a completely different economic system after ending the decade old socialist economic path. Sri Lanka is also experiencing a new economic life after ending the 30 years long terrorism. Now both countries can enjoy benefits of this new order by improving trade and investment relations between the two countries.
Pomianowski said Poland is a part of the global tourism market with constantly increasing number of visitors, particularly after joining the European Union.
Tourism in Poland contributes to the countries overall economy at large and therefore this is identified as the one of the most important sectors of Polish economy.
Polish people are now reluctant to visit traditional tourist destination such as Middle East after the political destabilization of these countries. Therefore Polish tourists are interested in visiting new attractive destinations like Sri Lanka he said. He also pointed out that tourisst can enjoy beautiful sceneries, good environment, heritage and clean beaches within a short span of time.
Both parties agreed to exchange trade and investment delegation in order to revive the bilateral relations and review the progress of the new projects between the two countries.
Responding to a question posed by the Poland under Secretary Minister Basil Rajapaksa said majority of the Tamil Diaspora gradually understands the real situation in Sri Lanka and they are happy with the outcome of the resettlement and reconstruction works and peace building efforts of the government. Now most of the Tamil expatriates are visiting Sri Lanka, helping their families and relatives and buying real estates in Sri Lanka. But some members of the Diaspora,some hardcore supporters of the LTTE, some who wants to remain in those countries still go against Sri Lanka, . However the situation will change when these Diaspora members see new developments in North Eastern provinces themselves. Senior Minister Rajapaksa said.
Minister and under secretary agreed to have separate arrangements to promote Sri Lankan interest in Poland during the Waraw Fair 2012. Sri Lanka will participate in this fair with government and private sector institutions thereby enabling to organize some events related to investment, trade and tourism promotions of Sri Lanka.
Piotr Opalinski, Minister - Counselor, Deputy Head of the Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Ken Balendra, Honorary Consul General of the Poland in Sri Lanka, Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara, Director General of Development and Communication, Bashwara Senanka Gunaratna, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sunil Hettiarachchi, Director General of Investment and Tourism and W.A.D.A. Wijesooriya, Director (Investment) also participated at this discussion.