Seven Ambassadors representing the United States, Germany, China, Russia, the European Union and the High Commissioners of Britain and India called on Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Finance Ministry yesterday.
This is the first time these diplomats have met since taking office as Minister of Finance and all the bilateral discussions took place on the same day(Yesterday 14).
Ambassador of the United States of America Alina Teplitz, Ambassador of Germany Holga Lothar Sibert, Ambassador of Russia Yuri B. Mattery, Ambassador of China Tui Shenhon, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the European Union Denis Chaibi and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bagale were also present.
During the bilateral discussions, Minister Rajapaksa stated that Sri Lanka was focused on creating a green economy and sought support for the Renewable Energy Promotion Program.
Mr Rajapaksa further said that the government is also focusing on upgrading the infrastructure required for the development of the transport sector in an environmentally friendly manner while minimizing fuel consumption.
The High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) appreciated the Government’s interest in the promotion of renewable energy and a green economy.
The High Commissioner further stated that she appreciates the use of local builders for the construction of the Central Expressway and hopes to continue to provide the necessary assistance.
The Indian High Commissioner said he was pleased that Sri Lanka’s economic growth had maintained at around 4.7% in the first quarter amid the Covid pandemic and was expected to grow to 5.5% in the future. The Indian High Commissioner agreed to further enhance bilateral trade too.
The Chinese Ambassador told Sri Lanka that China will continue to provide the injection facilities currently provided to Sri Lanka as required and is ready to attract high-level investors to the Hambantota Industrial Zone.
He added that China expects the economy to return to normal soon. He further said that he is ready to provide the necessary assistance for that.
The German Ambassador said that his government hopes to increase the facilities of the existing German Technical Colleges on the island and provide the necessary assistance to attract investors to small and medium scale industries.
The US Ambassador also told Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa that the United States was ready to further enhance bilateral cooperation and work with Sri Lanka in mutual understanding. Welcoming the Government’s Green Economy Program, the Ambassador said that the LNG Energy Project would look into the possibility of attracting investors.
The Russian Ambassador who met Basil Rajapaksa said that his government would continue to support the vaccination program. He added that the focus will be on formulating a joint program for the production of vaccines.
Secretary to the Ministry of Finance SR. Mr Attygalle and a group of officials participated.