Sri Lanka expects stronger links with ASEAN: foreign minister

Jan 02, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is looking for stronger economic ties with countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations, foreign minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said in Colombo. Sri Lanka has also started participating in the ASEAN Region Forum (ARF) to promote security in the region.

ASEAN bloc has broken trade barriers allowing citizens to trade with each other more freely.

In the last decade it created ASEAN visa free travel creating a massive tourism boom with the exception of militarized Burma. “Sri Lanka recognizes the enormous growth potential of the ASEAN,” minister Pieris told an ASEAN ‘flag raising’ ceremony attended by envoys of Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma and other envoys the embassy of Indonesia.

“Sri Lanka is convinced that ASEAN is a region with we need to develop and nurture and expand our relations.

“Malaysia is already in the top of the list of foreign investors to Sri Lanka.”

Pieris said the Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang had isited Sri Lanka recently with a large business delegation and established ties with businesses and trade chambers in Sri Lanka.

“This with create lasting links for the future,” Pieris said.