A time for optimism: inaugural Australia – Sri Lanka senior officials’ talks


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Ric Wells led the Australian delegation to inaugural Senior Officials’ Talks with Sri Lanka on 16 December in Colombo.

Wells and his counterpart from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Additional Secretary Ranjith Uyangoda, discussed opportunities in trade and investment, development assistance, reconciliation and human rights, as well as people-to-people links. Australia and Sri Lanka’s broader roles as Indo-Pacific neighbours were also addressed.

“I was pleased to visit Colombo for these inaugural talks, which will enable us to build our already strong relationship. This year, a major focus was on strengthening cooperation in ways that build our economic relationship. Australia welcomes the Sri Lankan government’s focus on economic growth and reform. Australia will also continue to support Sri Lanka as it makes progress on national reconciliation,” said Mr Wells.

“Clearly, now is a time of great optimism in Sri Lanka. As a long-time friend and partner, we share this belief and see great potential for our relationship to grow in new and dynamic ways,” concluded Mr Wells.