The Partnership Forum between Sri Lanka and South Africa was established in 2003 with an objective to advance and strengthen close cooperation between the two countries in the political, trade, economic, culture, scientific and technological fields. The Senior Officials reviewed the progress made in the identified areas of cooperation and deliberated on further expanding the existing cooperation to cover the subjects of education, development of skills, science and technology, technology transfer, blue economy, transport and connectivity, police services, wildlife, water and agriculture. The Forum decided to meet in Colombo in November 2017 to review and advance implementation of decisions made in all areas for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The Forum was co-chaired by Mrs. Grace Asirwatham, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and Ambassador Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director General, Asia and Middle East of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa.
The meeting also reflected on South Africa assuming the chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in October 2017 and noted the importance of the Indian Ocean in the advancement of the developmental agenda in the IORA member countries.
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to South Africa Sunil de Silva and High Commissioner of South Africa to Sri Lanka, Ms. Robina P. Marks, representatives of the Ministry of Defence and Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the relevant line agencies of South Africa also attended the Senior Officials’ meeting of the Partnership Forum.