Korea yesterday signed an agreement to extend $ 200 million support for Sri Lanka thereby giving a major boost for ties between the two countries.
Witnessed by leaders of the two countries in Seoul an agreement for Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund to provide US$ 200 million for the development activities in Sri Lanka was signed by the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Vice Finance Minister of Korea Shin Je Yoon.
Ahead of the signing President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is currently on a four-day official visit to Korea met his South Korean counterpart President Lee Myung-bak at his official residence.
They held a summit to discuss ways to strengthen economic and other cooperation between the two countries.
Among other agreements signed following the bilateral discussions were an Electric Power Partnership with Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy M. M. C. Ferdinando and Vice Minister of Knowledge and Economy of Korea Yoon Sang-Jick as signatories and Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris and Minister of Public Administration and Security of Korea Maeng Hyung-kyu signing the agreement for the Cooperation in the area of Informatization.
President Lee Myung-bak and First Lady Kim Yoon-ok welcomed the Sri Lankan President accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation at the official residence.
Korean President has commended President Rajapaksa’s leadership for successfully defeating terrorism, and stabilizing the political situation leading to steady growth in economy.
He has noted that over 20,000 Sri Lankans are employed in his country and the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Korea would be further strengthened by the President Rajapaksa’s visit.
The Korean President has suggested further enhancing the inter-parliamentary relations between two countries.
President Rajapaksa has appreciated Korea’s assistance for development activities in Sri Lanka and invited the Korean investors to explore the investment opportunities available in the country.
He has proposed to establish a free trade agreement between the two countries as Sri Lanka’s exports to Korea has grown up to US$ 46 million last year. He has also suggested establishing an air link between Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka and Korea.
Ministers Prof. G. L. Peiris, Dullas Alahapperuma, MPs Namal Rajapaksa, Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Roshan Ranasinghe, Sunny Rohana, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunathilaka Amunugama, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy M. M. C. Ferdinando, Sri Lanka Ambassador in South Korea Tissa Wijeratne, Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Prasanna Wickramasuriya also participated in the bilateral discussions.