Sri Lanka and Norway will take effective steps to increase cooperation in several areas, including fisheries, information technology, energy, hydro and solar power and oil and gas exploration. These were discussed during the bilateral discussions held between President Maithripala Sirisena and visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the Presidential Secretariat today (August 12).
Ms Solberg expressed appreciation over the steps taken by the current government to strengthen democracy, reconciliation and development.
The President said that Sri Lanka would appreciate technical expertise from Norway to develop the fisheries industry in Sri Lanka as there are immense possibilities for growth in both sea fishing and inland fisheries. He said that Sri Lanka seeks foreign investments in export oriented industries such as garments, gem and jewellery, ceramic, plants, timber and medicine.
He said that Minister Mahinda Amaraweera would visit Norway next week to discuss ways and means of expanding cooperation in fisheries sector.
Ms Solberg said her government would take steps to bring together potential Norwegian investors and Sri Lankan partners. She added that as Sri Lanka has now reached the status of a Middle-Income Country, the focus would be to assist development and increase cooperation in trade, industry and business.
Norwegian Prime Minister praised the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and said that she had a most enjoyable holiday in the island during the last week. She added that there is immense scope for high growth in tourism sector.
The Norwegian delegation, headed by Prime Minister Erna Solberg included Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether, Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka, Lasse Bjorn Johannessen, Director, South Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Borge Romsloe, Senior Adviser, Prime Minister’s Office of Norway, Espen Gullikstad, Special Adviser for Sustainable Development Goals and Prime Minister’s Office/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.
The government delegation was comprised of Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Mahinda Amaraweera, Ravi Karunanayake, Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Secretary to the President P B Abeykoon, Treasury Secretary Dr H M S Samaratunga and Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon.