Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera last week said that Sri Lanka is now at the centre stage of international relations with its foreign policy been reset to achieve its national interest. Addressing the Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave, Samaraweera said the island’s friendship with its sister and neighbour, India, has reached new levels of excellence in the last twelve months and Sri Lanka is positioning herself as the gateway to India and the sub-continent to share the economic benefits of one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
“Our historic relations with our other powerful friend and neighbour, China, are as strong as ever and next month’s visit by our Prime Minister to Beijing will further strengthen our ties. Our cordial ties with the US have now been elevated to that of a very special friendship making the US one of Sri Lanka’s staunchest friends in the international community. The US-Sri Lanka partnership dialogue bears testimony to this bond,” the foreign Minister said.
He noted that with the EU again standing ready to assist Sri Lanka’s march forward and the U.K. remaining a time-tested friend, securing the GSP+ concession seems a possibility again.
“Japan and South Korea [which I am visiting tomorrow] are as always rallying around Sri Lanka. Our friends in Russia and the Middle East are extending their hands in friendship and support. Along with Myanmar and Tunisia, there is a tsunami of goodwill and support developing around the globe for Sri Lanka,” the Foreign Minister asserted.
As a result we are restructuring our economy to encourage greater investment and increase exports. To this end, we are in the process of creating a transparent and rules-based level playing field for business, leveraging our unique geo-economic location and securing greater market access for goods and services produced in Sri Lanka.