Sri Lankan ambassador to Qatar Kithsiri Athulathmudali affirmed his country's commitment to strengthen bilateral relations with the State of Qatar and to increase regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries.
In an executive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the occasion of Qatar National Day, the ambassador said that Qatar has endeavoured to consolidate relations with many countries of the world within the framework of its foreign policy principles, which include mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, as well as effective co-operation in the achievement of international peace and security and the resolution of disputes through peaceful means.
The Sri Lankan ambassador extended warm felicitations to the State of Qatar, and to its government and people on behalf of Sri Lankan government on the occasion of the National Day, wishing continuous progress and prosperity for the Qatari people. He referred to the state visit of the former president Maithreepala Sirisena to State of Qatar, pointing out that this visit has further consolidated and enhanced the close bond of friendship between two countries. "In this contest, we look forward to arrange an official visit by the newly elected President of Sri Lanka Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to the State of Qatar in the coming year," the ambassador said.
Bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the State of Qatar are multifaceted and have been growing steadily since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1976, the ambassador said, noting that strengthening economic relations is a priority in consolidating the close co-operation between the two countries.
There is scope for further increasing two-way trade by diversifying exports and increasing business linkages, he said, adding that there is considerable potential for investment particularly in the sectors of petrochemicals, agro products, real estate, precious stones, tourism and infrastructure.
Sri Lanka, under its vision 2025 programme, will seek to transform the country into the logistical, financial and trading hub of the Indian Ocean, with a knowledge-based, highly competitive, export oriented social-market economy, he affirmed, pointing out that Sri Lanka signed FTAs with India, Pakistan and Singapore, and it will be concluding an FTA with China. Therefore, there are emerging opportunities for Qatari investors in selected sectors, he added.
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