‘’Sri Lanka’s social and economic development model is encouraging for countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina’’, stated Nebojša Radmonovič, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina when Ambassador of Sri Lanka called on him at the President’s Office in Sarajevo, following the presentation of the Letter of Credence later this month.
Ambassador A. L. A. Azeez, who is accredited to Bosnia & Herzegovina with residence in Vienna, took the opportunity to apprise the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina of the achievements made by Sri Lanka in all areas, especially since the end of the conflict in May 2009, under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Highlighting Sri Lanka’s economic growth and impressive progress in social indicators, he informed the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina that Sri Lanka is currently leading the way, among most developing countries, in achieving the remaining targets of the Millennium Development Goals. He called for increased trade and economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Bosnia & Herzegovina, taking advantage of the opportunities available in both countries including for access to each other’s regional markets.
The Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina, conveying his appreciation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Sri Lanka’s continued goodwill and friendship towards his country, stressed that Bosnia & Herzegovina shared the view that further enhancing of trade and investment relations was important and expressed hope that an exchange of high level visits between the two countries in the near future would help fast-track bilateral frameworks for pragmatic joint collaboration.
The dignitaries of Bosnia & Herzegovina, during their meetings with Ambassador Azeez, indicated continued support for Sri Lanka in the multilateral fora dealing with social and economic issues, and emphasizing the importance of cooperation on areas of mutual interest such as migration and development, appreciated Sri Lanka’s positive role and contribution towards the promotion of the objectives of the international convention on the protection of migrant workers and their families.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka met Zlatko Lagumzija, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Sarajevo Investment Forum -2013, which he attended at the invitation of the Government of Bosnia & Herzegovina. During his meetings with the Minister of Trade Milorad Bahilj-Baja and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Ana Trišić Babić, he discussed, among other matters, arrangements being made by Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Business Forum in November 2013, requesting participation at the highest possible level at the forum from Bosnia & Herzegovina. He also conveyed the same request to Dr. Ismet Kumalić, the President of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Ministers and the Chamber President indicated that arrangements for Bosnia & Herzegovina’s participation in the business forum would be explored with the Government of Sri Lanka in the coming weeks.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka also called on Prof. Dr. Ivo Komsic, the Mayor of the Sarajevo Municipality, who had served as a member of the first Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina following the Dayton Peace Accord. Recalling Sri Lanka’s pioneering role in the Non-Aligned Movement in the late 1970’s, the Mayor stressed that it was his personal view that Bosnia & Herzegovina could learn a positive lesson from Sri Lanka’s experience in economic development.
During his visit, Ambassador of Sri Lanka was afforded an opportunity to meet with representatives of all communities in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and also the former leaders of the other countries, who participated in the Sarajevo Investment Forum-2013, including the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, who was the keynote speaker.