Expanding trade relations between Sri Lanka and Belarus was the focus when a high-level parliamentary delegationfrom the National Assembly of Belarus, led by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko, met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday.
The discussion focused considerably on trade relations, including the expansion of markets for export products from both countries. This included Sri Lanka's fisheries sector.
During the meeting the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus said there is a market for Sri Lankan goods in not only Belarus but also in neighboring countries with which Belarus has customs union arrangements.
"We have a market for your goods," Mr. Andreichenko told the President adding that Belarus was quite happy to increase the volume of fisheries products exported from Sri Lanka, into Belarus.
Andreichenko said the entire delegation was impressed by the level of development it has seen in Sri Lanka and recalling Sri Lankan President's visit to Belarus in 2013 added that the two countries share strong relations in sectors such as health and education.
President Rajapaksa also wanted greater collaborations in the area of arts and culture and requested the Belarusian delegation to send their renowned ballet troupe to perform in Sri Lanka.
The Belarusian leader met with Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris on 18 November.
During the meeting with Minister Peiris, Andreichenko noted the affinity of approaches to key problems on the global agenda and the need to secure mutual support in international organizations.
The two sides discussed existing proposals regarding the organization of visits and pointed out the need to fill their content with the enhancement of the trade and economic dialogue, said the Belarus parliament press service.
In a meeting with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne on Tuesday, the visiting delegation focused on the expansion of Belarusian-Sri Lankan trade and economic cooperation.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus remarked that finding new opportunities for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation was one of the purposes of the visit of the Belarus parliament delegation to Sri Lanka.
Andreichenko said it was important to step up the volume and diversify the bilateral trade, via the establishment of joint ventures in Sri Lanka. The implementation of the proposal put forth at the top level to start assembling Belarusian tractors in Sri Lanka was also discussed at the meeting.
The Belarusian delegation also included top executives and representatives of prominent Belarusian companies.
The delegation from Belarus also included the Deputy Minister of Industry Mr. Gennady Sviderskiy and President of the Belarus - Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association Mr. Igor Marzuliuk, among several other officials.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Member of Parliament Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Russia Mr. Udayanga Weeratunga were also present.