Sri Lanka’s foreign affairs deputy Harsha de Silva says “This is where the game is”

Sep 11, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha de Silva told Lanka Business Online that discussions are on to develop a foreign policy towards achieving the island’s economic goals through diplomacy, and he is excited about the new task given.

“This is a good opportunity,” de Silva said.

“We need to strengthen economic ties with the rest of the world. So this is where the game is. The battle is here,”

“While the economic team domestically fix internal problems, my job will be to take Sri Lanka across the globe to build trade ties, investment ties, help growth, liberalizing the economy, open doors for local enterprises to move overseas and try and get investments from diaspora,”

“So it will be an exciting time.”

He was speaking to LBO at the ceremony of commencing duties at the ministry of foreign affairs held today.

“I have spoken about economy and policies of the country in every occasion in the past. So most people in Sri Lanka expected ‘Harsha de Silva’ to look after the economy and policy development in the country,” he said.

“But I assumed duties today with a ministry, and to work under the Minister Mangala Samaraweera, which is completely different from what I used to do, but important than that, and to work.”

De Silva said the island has to move from a traditional foreign affairs development portfolio to build relations targeting economical goals in the country.

“We have faced challenges in the past and overcome them successfully, now we have to do something beyond Geneva,” he said.

“My specialty is the economy, so myself and the minister are discussing a new policy and planning to change some of our policies and move towards economic diplomacy.”

“This an opportunity for my political carrier as well. I’m very excited. I was waiting for an opportunity like the one that I have just got. So let us get the show on the road.”