The first Sri Lanka-Czech Economic Forum organized by the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic was launched recently with the participation of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
During the his visit to Prague last week, Minister Rajapaksa and the Czech Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba addressed the Economic Forum and discussed prospects for enhanced trade and economic cooperation as well as opportunities for joint collaboration in the important sectors of economy of the two countries.
At the discussion, the Minister highlighted the vast potential that exists for the Czech Republic to invest in Sri Lanka in several areas such as infrastructure, energy, water and environment protection, food processing, sugar industry, leisure, recreation and hospitality, higher education, as well as in the vital sector of the small and medium enterprises.
Minister Rajapaksa also highlighted the increased potential for Czech tourists to visit Sri Lanka following the expansion of the island's tourism sector.
Both Ministers have expressed their intention to conclude an agreement on mutual cooperation between their ministries for creating favorable conditions to further develop trade and economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest and the Czechs have handed over a draft of an agreement to the Sir Lankan delegation on the subject.
Minister Rajapaksa also met the Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas at his office where Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Dub was also present.
During a meeting with the Czech Republic's Environment Minister Tomas Chalupa,Minsiter Rajapaksa accompanied by the Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha discussed issues relating to promotion of sustainable energy and protection of the Environment and means of active cooperation in the area.
The two delegations discussed the possibilities of further strengthening cooperation in the areas of renewable energy and waste management, the Ministry of Economic Development said in a statement Tuesday.
Minister Premajayantha has also visited a waste recycling plant in Prague during the visit.
Minister Rajapaksa also met Czech Republic's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomas Dub and discussed ways for enhancing bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade, investment and tourism.