“Achieving shared prosperity is our primary objective. In our perspective, this means that we seek to benefit from the opportunities arising from cooperation while also ensuring that others in the region to benefit,” stated President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the BRICS and BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Goa, India, yesterday (16).
We must derive benefits from globalization through partnering with regional blocs. BRICS has evolved in a swift manner in promoting its main objectives that include coordination in multilateral fora with a focus on economic and political governance and cooperation, he said.
Following is the full text of the statement by President Maithripala Sirisena at the BRICS and BIMSTEC Outreach Summit, Goa, India, 16 October 2016
I appreciate the opportunity provided by the Government of India for the first ever Outreach Summit between BRICS and BIMSTEC.
Both BRICS and BIMSTEC are at a historic juncture today as the centre of global power is shifting to Asia.
Our outreach is therefore not only a timely initiative, but one which could transform our region in a positive manner.
As the economic influence of BRICS increases, possibilities open for BIMSTEC to benefit from the expansion of trade and investment as well as knowledge and technology transfers and infrastructure development.
The Bay of Bengal where the members of BRICS and BIMSTEC have important stakes provides the springboard for strategic cooperation in the Indian Ocean through the advancement of cooperative security.
Peace and stability in the region is an essential element for economic prosperity. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
I emphasize that Sri Lanka is firmly committed to join all efforts to combat this global menace.
As you are aware, Sri Lanka lies at a strategic point in the Bay of Bengal and in the Indian Ocean. We strongly believe that the success of our efforts would depend on leveraging this position in a manner that delivers prosperity for us.
Achieving shared prosperity is our primary objective. In our perspective, this means that we seek to benefit from the opportunities arising from cooperation while also ensuring that others in the region too benefit.
Following the election of the National Unity Government, we stand as a resilient nation, and reach out, in friendship and cooperation, to realize our full economic potential, which many years of conflict denied us.
On the economic front we are in the process of building a knowledge based competitive social market economy that will be integrated with the world.
We must derive benefits from globalization through partnering with regional blocs.
BRICS has evolved in a swift manner in promoting its main objectives that include coordination in multilateral fora with a focus on economic and political governance and cooperation.
In transitioning from outreach to actual cooperation, what is important now is achieving convergence of our priorities in the regional development discourse.
It is important to look at the agendas of both BRICS and BIMSTEC to find where that convergence occurs to derive benefits from each other’s achievements and strengths.
The 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC next year provides an opportunity to effect the much needed transformation of the organization, to help it realize the full potential of regional cooperation. In this context, it would be prudent to move forward towards the long awaited free trade arrangement within BIMSTEC.
We in Sri Lanka are prepared to collectively assess the challenges and opportunities that the shifting center of political gravity in Asia entails while identifying and advancing our own priorities.
In conclusion, I seek your continued cooperation for the success of the resolute journey that my country has undertaken towards advancement of peace and prosperity.
I thank you.