In line with the mandate of the State Ministry of Regional Cooperation to enhance economic relations with the Middle-East, State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya, held virtual deliberations with Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman Qais bin Mohammad Al Yousef on 14 July, 2021.
During the discussion, State Minister Balasuriya highlighted the trade and investment opportunities generated from the Port City of Colombo and its Special Economic Zone. He also elaborated upon the investment potential in other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, tourism, renewable energy, food and information technology. With regard to the promotion of foreign employment, the State Minister Balasuriya also explored the potential for trained Sri Lankan healthcare workers to be employed in Oman.
Highlighting Oman’s initiatives to promote investment and trade, Minister Al-Yousef emphasized the potential of Oman being a transit hub and gateway to Africa, the Middle East and the USA through their FTAs. He added this would open avenues for Sri Lanka to utilize Oman as a hub for re-exportation. The Minister also pledged to explore the prospect of employing Sri Lankan skilled workers in the healthcare sector.
Both Ministers welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the national Chambers of Commerce of the two countries and the ongoing discussion between relevant authorities of both countries to establish a direct container service between the Ports of Colombo and Sohar.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Sultanate of Oman O.L Ameer Ajwad also elaborated on the growing momentum in bilateral trade and investments between the two countries, including enhanced exports from Sri Lanka.
Undersecretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman Asila bint Salim Al-Samsamiyah and Advisors to the Minister participated from Omani side. Associated with the State Minister was Secretary to the State Ministry of Regional Cooperation A. Senanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Sultanate of Oman O.L Ameer Ajwad and Director General of the State Ministry of Regional Cooperation Savitri Panabokke.