Dr. Harsha de Silva

Sri Lanka’s first-ever engagement with the G7 Summit in Japan is expected to bring many direct and indirect benefits and boosts the country’s image before the international community paving the way for development, Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Harsha De Silva said last week.

“The most important factor is that one of the highly powerful and acceptable group of countries has recognized Sri Lanka and its administration process. It will provide us with more opportunities. The invitation itself reiterates that they have accepted our good governance policies,” he added.

He also added that the international community and organizations will take into note that Sri Lanka has been given a chance to share its experiences on such a platform. ‘For an example, the European Union will expedite its mechanism on GSP+ issue.”

Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the formal outreach session titled ‘Stability and Prosperity in Asia’ told the G7 leaders that Sri Lanka has plans for extensive development efforts and invited the developed nations and multilateral and bilateral investors to invest in Sri Lanka.

“With a revolutionary change of governance, my Government has succeeded in creating the path for viable development environment and for reconciliation in a multi-faceted society. Two recent elections exhibited people’s opposition to abuse, corruption, and malpractices, which are detrimental to stability and prosperity,” the President had said. He has further briefed the session on his commitment to transparency, accountability and the rule of law, and his firm determination to wipe out corruption.

The President who arrived in Nagoya on Thursday morning engaged with the G7 leaders; US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France President François Hollande, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo  Abe, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncke on Friday.
He participated at the summit as an Outreach Partner on an official invitation from the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making it a historic and significant invitation for Sri Lanka. Japan has invited four other Asian countries Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Laos as outreach partners along with Chad, Papua New Guinea.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake have been included in the delegation assisted by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan Prof. Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayake.

Separately, the President also held bilateral meetings and he met with Vietnam Prime Minister Ngyun Xuan Phuc on Thursday and also held discussions with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina, Chad President Idriss Deby Itno, Laos Prime Minister Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith and Papua New Guinea Premier Peter O’Neill.