Jan 14, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka commitment to reconciliation will be a driver of its future economic development, a visiting Minister said.
“It is reconciliation that will, I believe, be the bedrock on which Sri Lanka’s future economic success will be built,” Hugo Swire, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom, said.
“I also look forward to meeting resettled families, members of civil society and religious leaders to hear directly from them about the progress in reconciliation and economic development.”
One vital aspect of reconciliation and economic development and a growing area of cooperation between the UK and Sri Lanka – is tackling corruption, he added.
“This was, of course, a key election promise of President Sirisena and this is why the UK is providing anti-corruption training and anti-bribery expertise to the Sri Lankan authorities.”
“Because the elimination of corruption improves business confidence, not only for the existing business community, but it also helps make Sri Lanka a destination of choice for new foreign direct investment.”
UK is one of the top 10 investors in Sri Lanka but the balance of trade has risen significantly in favor of Sri Lanka in recent years.
On exports, the UK is Sri Lanka’s third-largest market, with exports in 2014 growing a significant 36 percent, to well over 1 billion pounds.
British exports to Sri Lanka were 165 million pounds in the same year.
“We have made reducing that trade gap a priority – and the latest figures show UK exports to Sri Lanka increased by nearly 50 percent last year,” he added.