Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe visited Denmark recently to obtain financial and technical assistance for the development of Sri Lanka’s ports sector. During the visit, Minister Samarasinghe held discussions with a group of delegates including Maersk Line network Chief Executive Officer Soren Skou. Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Maersk Line network Head Anders Boenaes, Senior Director Julian Bevis, Public Relations South Asia Prithwijit Maitre, Marketing Ma
Sri Lanka is on course to reach the 2018 export target of US$ 17.5 billion set up by the government, said Chairperson, Export Development Board, Indira Malwatte. Speaking at the Messe Frankfurt Exhibition of Germany event held in Colombo she said that Sri Lanka has already achieved 60% of that target by end of July 2018.
Mirigama Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) managed by the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka contributed US$ 14,074,581.35 in export revenue as at end of March 2018, a BOI release said.MEPZ is in the Gampaha District about 65 Km North East of Colombo and 35 Km away from Colombo (Katunayake) International Airport. It was established in 1998 on a land area of 260.5 acres of which 50.69 acres are industrial land. The infrastructure facilities at the zone include water, the processing of waste water and electricity, making it attractive to investors.
The Sri Lanka India Society (SLIS) celebrated India’s Independence Day and SLIS’s Platinum Jubilee on August 5, 2018 at a function held in Colombo. High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka H.E. Taranjit Singh Sandhu was the chief guest at the event. Hon. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, Hon. Mayor of Colombo Ms. Rosy Senanayake, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasurya, President of SLIS Mr T.S. Prakash and dignitaries from the industry and other fields were also present during the occasion.
Switzerland and Sri Lanka today reaffirming their intention to continue to facilitate and expand cooperation between the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a migration partnership. Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police, Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga signed the MoU with Sri Lankan Interior Minister S.B. Nawinne in Colombo.
The signing of the MOU was preceded by bilateral discussions between the Swiss delegation led by Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga and Acting Foreign Minister Vasantha Senanayake at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo this morning. Switzerland has already established migration partnerships with five other countries. The agreement with Sri Lanka is the first concluded with an Asian country, the Swiss Federal Council said in a statement.
After signing the MoU, Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga has stated that Switzerland intended to increase the support it gives to Sri Lanka in its efforts to achieve democratic reform, as Sri Lanka still had some way to go. She added that the migration partnership provided a framework for increased involvement with the aim of advancing the reconciliation process, strengthening human rights, creating better prospects for young people in Sri Lanka through vocational training, and promoting safe labor migration in the region.
With regard to the return of Sri Lankan nationals, Switzerland will continue to pursue its existing close cooperation with Sri Lanka based on the migration agreement of 2016, which has proven successful. Return issues are therefore not a key consideration in the new migration partnership, the Council said.Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga is being accompanied on her working visit to Sri Lanka, which will last until Wednesday, by a mixed delegation of representatives from the FDJP and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).
On Monday she held talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorala on bilateral relations, the reconciliation process following almost 30 years of civil war, and constitutional reform. The Premier said he had a good meeting with the Swiss Federal Councilor. "We are using our international relationships to take Sri Lanka forward," he added. Ms Sommaruga also met with the chair of the National Human Rights Commission and chair of the Office for Missing Persons. The Office for Missing Persons plays a key role in coming to terms with the past and fosters close contacts with Switzerland.
Federal Councilor Sommaruga also met with representatives from various civil society organizations that deal with the migration situation in Sri Lanka and had an opportunity to speak with staff from Helvetas, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which run Swiss-funded projects and programs on the ground.On Tuesday Ms Sommaruga is scheduled to meet the Leader of Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, during which the two are expected to discuss the needs of the Tamil population.
Ms Sommaruga will visit the East to take a look at the projects and programs that Switzerland has been supporting for a number of years. These include the vocational training project in Kinniya involving needs-based education and training in fields such as construction, mechanics, electrical installation and tailoring/dressmaking, with a view to improving employment opportunities and prospects for young people.In Batticaloa Ms Sommaruga will visit an information center for Sri Lankan migrant workers and talk to them about their experiences.
As part of the project, which Switzerland supports, workers are informed of their rights and given advice. In that way, the project helps to make labor migration fairer and safer, which gives these people and their dependents prospects for a better life in their home country and region.
The UK-based De La Rue, the leading global identity and currency printing business first entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) 32 years ago, is currently enjoying a foreign direct investment program of Rs 2 billion to upgrade its global capability. This facility was named as one of the five global Centers of Excellence for printing by De La Rue in 2015.
Colombo has all necessary potentials to be the service centric, International Maritime Centre for the Asian Region by developing segments such as the Port and logistics, Maritime Finance and law and Maritime Technology, said Singapore based Drewry Maritime Services (Asia), Senior Consultant Aden Wong. He made these remarks at the 4th Anniversary celebrations of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) held in Colombo.
The Puttalam mineral sands deposit, if developed, has the potential to deliver considerable economic and social benefits to Sri Lanka by way of mineral royalties, employment, terms of trade, and skills and technical development, Iluka’s Head of Resource Development, Simon Hay said.
Secretary of State of the United States, Michael Richard Pompeo yesterday announced intent to provide nearly US$300 million in security assistance to improve security relationships across the Indo-Pacific region including Sri Lanka.The assistance announced at the ASEAN Regional Forum yesterday will cover projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Vietnam and others.