Foreign Ministry Taskforce to take Sri Lanka to the world

Published : 10:17 am  October 16, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (568) reads | 
  •     Taskforce set to iron out trade, economic issues
  •     Move to push economic diplomacy within foreign policy 
  •     Taskforce to meet on a monthly basis 
  •     Harsha stresses need  to align economic policy with foreign policy


Yesterday’s inter-agency meeting chaired by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr.Harsha de Silva

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
After an exhaustive 14 years of wait, the local business landscape yesterday saw the revival of inter-agency collaboration, with the country’s Foreign Ministry having established a ‘Taskforce For Economic Diplomacy’ in its effort to strengthen the nation’s ties with the world.
Speaking to Mirror Business, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said the taskforce was set to iron out prevailing issues with regard to economic and trade engagement.
“Minister Mangala Samaraweera and I have decided to push economic diplomacy within a foreign policy as now it is essentially about prosperity. The current need is to develop and design simplified facets of the economy. It is essential to identify what the prospects of the economy are going to be, and this we will do on a bilateral basis, based on the latest available data and analysis.,” said Silva.
The Taskforce for Economic Diplomacy, which will engage on a monthly basis, had its first meeting yesterday at the Foreign Ministry. Chaired by Deputy Minister de Silva, the meeting was attended by top representatives of government agencies and of the private sector.
Making a representation were heads of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), National Chamber of Commerce (NCC), National Chamber of Exporters (NCE),  Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI), American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Department of Commerce, Board of Investment (BOI), Treasury and the Export Development Board (EDB), among others.

While the next five years of economic development would be centred on how well the nation integrates itself with the world, Silva stressed it is a must to align foreign policy and the economic policy.
“It is in the bigger conscious of the President and the Prime Minister to take Sri Lanka to the world. In reaching that objective, we at the foreign ministry are aligning ourselves with the new concept of economic diplomacy.  The necessary leadership is being provided to help create necessary infrastructure for our foreign missions to promote trade and business between Sri Lanka and the relevant countries,” he said.
When Mirror Business contacted some of the participants for their views on the meeting, all commended the ministry for the initiative and said it was a much needed measure to help drive the country’s business forward to capture and sustain a place in the global market.