Auckland: New Zealand has assured Sri Lanka of its assistance in the development of many sectors by sharing technical knowledge and expertise in these respective fields.
The assurance was given by the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key during bilateral discussions held with Sri Lankan Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe at Premier House in Auckland, Saturday.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who arrived in Auckland, Friday, on an official visit to New Zealand at Key’s invitation, was officially welcomed today with a grand State Welcome Ceremony at the New Zealand Premier House in Auckland.
The ceremony which was carried out according to ancient customs and traditions featured the traditional welcome of the indigenous race of New Zealand - the Maori’s, and captured the Sri Lankan delegation’s attention and admiration.
Prime Minister Key has said that he would work towards providing New Zealand’s experience and technical know-how in the areas of education, agriculture, fisheries, tourism, aviation and particularly dairy farming, to assist Sri Lanka in overcoming challenges in the development of the aforementioned fields.
The necessity to establish High Commissions between both countries in order to strengthen relations between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and implement the future bilateral plans in a more comprehensive manner, was a matter discussed in length during this meeting.
The New Zealand Prime Minister stated that Sri Lanka, which is embarking on a new journey towards prosperity under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, would have New Zealand’s blessing and full support.
The Sri Lankan Premier meanwhile explained in detail the plans to transform and develop Sri Lanka into an Economic, Trade and Financial hub of the Indian Ocean.
Wickremesinghe stressed the need to provide more income for the dairy farmers of Sri Lanka, and the further need to improve livestock and dairy farm systems through the development and provision of modern technology. He also expressed the hope that a method would be developed to provide children aged 1 to 5 with 5 fresh glasses of milk a week.
As New Zealand is a leader in this field, in terms of experience, technology and management, Prime Minister Key agreed to provide fullest support to develop the dairy industry in Sri Lanka. The two leaders also discussed measures to increase the number of dairy farmers in Sri Lanka and enhance the quality of their life, while providing modern facilities to develop and create new farms.
The Sri Lankan Premier pointed out the need to provide education in the English language as a means to give his country’s youth an additional advantage in order to better face the challenges of the future - a matter which Premier Key resonated with - as he stated that New Zealand would be prepared to provide support for the process when needed. The New Zealand Premier pledged support to implement a program to uplift the knowledge of English language among Sri Lankan youth.
With the lifting of the EU ban on Sri Lanka’s fish exports, the necessity to increase the local fish yield, as well as immediate evaluation with regard to implementing new measures for upgrading the fishing industry were discussed. In order to achieve this, Prime Minister John Key invited the Fisheries Minister and officials to tour New Zealand so as to better study and understand the methods employed by the industry in New Zealand.
As Sri Lanka is renowned in the world market for its local crab and lobster, Premier John Key laid out the techniques and technology that could be further explored in order to breed these species to further increase the local fisheries revenue.
Following bilateral discussions that were held after the ceremony, Sri Lankan Prime Minister visited the Auckland Zoo to see Anjalee the baby elephant gifted to New Zealand two years ago.
PM seeks NZ biz community investment to transform Sri Lanka into financial hub
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on a state visit to New Zealand, has urged the business community there to take the opportunity to invest in Sri Lanka as the island nation is being transformed into a Financial Hub of the Indian Ocean.
Addressing the Sri Lanka- New Zealand Business Council in Auckland Sunday, the Prime Minister said that in transforming Sri Lanka into a Financial Hub of the Indian Ocean, the opportunity to invest in this avenue must be taken on board.
“Going forward, new economic markets and production processes, regardless of being small or large scale, should be introduced into Sri Lanka,” the Premier said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that he arrived in New Zealand with a strong delegation on his official visit, in order to find new avenues and possibilities to expand the commercial and industry affairs between the two Nations.
He said Sri Lanka and New Zealand will enhance business ties through the establishment of a new Sri Lankan high commission in New Zealand.
Through the initiative to establish a High Commission between the two countries, this program can move forwards swiftly and with a strong basis,” he said.
Recalling the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s visit to Sri Lanka last February where he stated the methodology of inviting New Zealand investors to Sri Lanka, the Premier enlightened the Business Council members on the process of obtaining New Zealand’s latest technology in agriculture, fisheries, and animal husbandry to Sri Lanka.
He said Sri Lanka will be open to exchange ideas pertaining to new business techniques with New Zealand and added that Sri Lanka hopes to further enhance corporation in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
The Premier also met with the Sri Lankan community at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall in Auckland yesterday and exchanged ideas. A large number of people representing the Sri Lankan community residing in Auckland were present at the gathering.
“While we must be proud of our religion and race and represent it, we must also bear in mind that we should first and foremost stand together as Sri Lankans,” the PM said addressing the gathering.
He requested them to strive in their own way, towards this commitment for unity, so as to support the challenges in achieving a Sri Lanka that would benefit the future generations.
Pointing out the factors which have brought Sri Lanka to a turning point under the expert leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, the PM said that the government of Sri Lanka is tirelessly working towards creating sustainable development and reconciliation within the Nation.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will conclude his 3 day official visit to New Zealand on Sunday. Following his visit to New Zealand, the Prime Minister will visit India from 4-6 October.