- Opportunities in agriculture, renewable energy, technology based development, Colombo Port City, ports, pharmaceuticals, IT, textile and fabrics sectors highlighted to visiting Saudi Foreign Minister and delegation
- President refers to impact of low remittances, the collapse of the tourism industry, the impact of dry weather on hydropower generation and the rising demand for fuel in Sri Lanka
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday requested Saudi Arabia to invest in several sectors of the Sri Lankan economy.
This invitation was extended when the President met the visiting Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his delegation.
The President pointed out the opportunities available for foreign investment in the sectors of agriculture, renewable energy generation, technology based development and Colombo Port City.
Prince Al Saud was briefed on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Sri Lankan economy. The President also pointed out the impact of low remittances, the collapse of the tourism industry, the impact of dry weather on hydropower generation and the rising demand for fuel.
The President’s Media Office said the Saudi Foreign Minister had expressed that his country was also paying special attention to renewable energy generation and that they are ready to assist Sri Lanka in this sector.
The President and the Saudi Foreign Minister also discussed further strengthening of bilateral relations in a number of areas.
Saudi Ambassador to Sri Lanka Abdulnaser bin Hussain Al-Harthi, Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Abdulrahman Arkan Aldawood, Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage were also present.
Foreign Affairs Ministry in a separate statement said during Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris’ meeting with his Saudi counterpart Sri Lanka’s keen interest to transform Sri Lanka – Saudi Arabia bilateral relations into a results-oriented, multi-faceted partnership was stressed.
The two Ministers agreed to a stronger relationship on a multitude of areas of bilateral interest for mutual benefit, in the current global context.
Minister Peiris noted with appreciation Saudi Arabia’s strong support and empathetic approach towards Sri Lanka at the United Nations, especially during the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Foreign Minister Prof. Peiris encouraged Saudi investments in the Colombo Port, Hambantota Port, dedicated Pharmaceutical zones in Hambantota, newly identified IT parks, fabric/textile zone in Batticaloa and further sought more employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in the Saudi Arabian job market.
Noting that development cooperation comprises an important element in the bilateral partnership, Minister Peiris conveyed Sri Lanka’s appreciation to Saudi Arabia for providing infrastructure development assistance to Sri Lanka.
During the talks, the Saudi Foreign Minister reiterated the commitment of the Saudi Arabian Government to further deepen the already buoyant bilateral relations between the two countries and further emphasised economic cooperation.
He underscored the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030 as a means to transform Saudi Arabia from the present dependency on oil to a digital economy in the Middle East region.
State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Foreign Affairs Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and senior Foreign Ministry officials were engaged with the bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdulla Al- Saud was accompanied to the meeting by the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka Abdulnaser bin Hussain Al-Harthi, Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Director General Abdulrahaman Arkan I. Aldawood, Second Secretary Taif Abdulkhaliq S. Kadasah and the Officer-in-Charge of Political Affairs Afnan Fahad A. Alhumaidan.