Sri Lanka and Slovenia have agreed to further strengthen the bilateral trade and economic ties between the two countries at the conclusion of an official visit by Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris to Ljubljana on Monday.
During his visit, Minister Peiris held discussions with his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec on the bilateral relations and the two countries and agreed to further realize the potential for trade and commerce between Sri Lanka and Slovenia, which is a member of the EU and the euro zone.
Minister Peiris, who met with several Slovenian dignitaries during his visit, has emphasized that the ongoing visit by a delegation of prominent business leaders from Sri Lanka to Slovenia would serve to match complementary and mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities for both countries.
According to a statement released by the External Affairs Ministry, the Ministers resolved to conclude agreements relating to investment promotion, avoidance of double taxation and air services.
Minister Peiris also invited business leaders from Slovenia to attend the Commonwealth Business Forum, on the fringes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will be hosted in Sri Lanka in November 2013. Slovenia has expressed its intention of sending a high level business delegation to this Forum.
The Ministers also discussed further means to enhance bilateral cooperation, including in the sphere of education.
During a visit to the International Centre for the Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), an intergovernmental organization based in Ljubljana, Sri Lankan officials and students were offered opportunities for postgraduate studies in public administration and related fields.
Minister Peiris has extended an invitation to Minister Karl Erjavec to visit Sri Lanka in November this year and the Slovenian Minister has expressed interest in the proposal.
Minister Erjavec has also extended an invitation for the Sri Lankan Minister to attend the Bled Strategic Forum to be held in Slovenia this year.
Minister Peiris also expressed Sri Lanka's intention to appoint an Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Slovenia, which would serve to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Briefing Minister Erjavec over the development initiatives carried out by the Government of Sri Lanka in the North and East of the country, following the conflict, Prof. Peiris has provided details regarding implementation of proposals contained in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and explained the basis of Sri Lanka's reservations with regard to recent initiatives concerning the country in the Human Rights Council.
The Minister of External Affairs also met with Mr. Jenko Veber, the President of the National Assembly of Slovenia.
They discussed means to further enhance bilateral co-operation between the two Parliaments and agreed to establish friendship groups in both Parliaments to deepen relations between the two countries at the Parliamentary level. Mr. Veber stated that his country was pleased with the progress relating to the school project in Sri Lanka which had been initiated by Slovenia in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami disaster.
During the visit, Minister Peiris also met with the President of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia, Dr. Ernest Petric. During the discussions, Dr. Petric expressed interest in developments within Sri Lanka and said that he would be visiting the country later this year to discuss cooperation in the legal and constitutional fields.
Minister Peiris made the inaugural address at the Sri Lanka - Slovenia Business Conference and also addressed the Slovenian Association for International Relations on the topic "Evolving Political and Economic Landscape in Sri Lanka."
During the visit, the Minister met with the Mayor of Bled and made a proposal regarding a twinning agreement between the cities of Bled and Kandy.