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Minister Sabry highlights need for common vision

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Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC with Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC countries, in Bangkok.

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry participated at the inaugural BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat on July 17, in Bangkok.

The Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC Member States welcomed the initiative of Thailand to host a retreat which facilitated an exchange of ideas in an informal setting.

There was a broad agreement on the importance of creating crisis response mechanisms in BIMSTEC member states to coordinate for different contingencies. Food security, public health, energy, financial security, as well as trade and economic cooperation were at the core of the discussions. Furthermore, the meeting also considered establishing digital payment systems, as well as strengthening cooperation in cyber security and prevention of transnational crimes.

The Foreign Ministers agreed to hold a retreat on a regular basis, preferably in the first quarter of each year, and a Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers paid a joint courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after the conclusion of the retreat.

In his remarks at the retreat, Minister Sabry highlighted the need for agreeing on a common vision and having an action plan with short, mid and long-term priorities to implement the areas for cooperation identified during the discussion.

On the sidelines of the retreat, Minister Sabry had bilateral meetings with Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Bhutan Foreign Minister Dr. Tanji Dorji, Myanmar Foreign Minister Than Swe and Nepal Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud, where he discussed matters of bilateral importance.

On July 18, Minister Sabry addressed an Investment Forum titled “Invest in Sri Lanka- Now is the Time” organized jointly by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Thailand and Permanent Mission to UNESCAP and the Federation of Thai Industries. Welcoming Minister Sabry to the Federation of Thai Industries, its Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul assured that the Federation is ready to cooperate with Sri Lanka’s business sector and disclosed that arrangements are being made to send a business delegation to Sri Lanka in the near future.

Minister Sabry invited Thai entrepreneurs to make use of the strategic location of Sri Lanka as a gateway to enter the markets in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa and enlightened the membership of Federation of Thai Industries on Sri Lanka’s emergence as a promising investment destination with immense potential for growth and prosperity, and emphasized the need for collaborative efforts in building a prosperous future together. In an interview to the National Broadcasting Service of Thailand, Minister Sabry elaborated on the initiatives taken by the Government of Sri Lanka for the country’s economic recovery. Highlighting Thailand’s role as a regional player, Minister Sabry invited Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Sri Lanka and make use of the market access to India, Pakistan and Singapore through Free Trade Agreements.

The Sri Lanka delegation included Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Thailand and Permanent Representative to ESCAP C.A. Chaminda I. Colonne, Director General of Economic Affairs (Multilateral) of the Foreign Ministry Samantha Pathirana, First Secretary A.W.S. Samanmali, and First Secretary (Commercial) Vireshika Bandara.

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