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SL’s rapid economic recovery remarkable – Thai Foreign Secretary

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The fifth round of bilateral discussions between Sri Lanka and Thailand was held on August 28 at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan delegation was headed by Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane and the Thai delegation was led by Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Sarun Charoensuwan.

Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs updated Sri Lanka on the latest developments in Thailand including the appointment of Srettha Thavisin as the new Prime Minister of Thailand.

Foreign Secretary Charoensuwan praised Sri Lanka’s speedy economic recovery within such a short time of one year and said that Thai technical assistance on various programmes provided under the Two-Year Implementation Plan will continue to support Sri Lanka’s efforts in its road to complete economic recovery.

A wide range of areas of mutual collaboration in the fields of trade and investment, defence, culture, fisheries and tourism were reviewed for further progress during the discussion.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane informed the Thai delegation that as Sri Lanka moved forward with the stabilisation of its economy, the country placed high priority on enhanced bilateral relations with Thailand, as well as the broader ASEAN region.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane said Sri Lanka has prioritized the conclusion of the Thailand-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and also emphasized on Sri Lanka’s intention to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, the world’s largest free trade area that came into effect on January 1, 2022. She requested Thailand’s support for Sri Lanka’s application to join the RCEP from her counterpart as Thailand is placed among the 15 founding members of the RCEP.

Wijewardane went on to congratulate Thailand on the progress made in BIMSTEC under its current Chairmanship, including initiating the Vision of a Prosperous Resilient and Open BIMSTEC by 2030. Both sides also reviewed ongoing developments in the regional and multilateral contexts including in ASEAN, BIMSTEC, IORA and the United Nations.

Parallel to the bilateral political consultations, a negotiation and B2B session was held between leading private sector companies of the two countries at Siam Nivasa.

The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand also called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on August 28.

The Sri Lankan delegation included senior officials of the Foreign Ministry as well as officials from the Defence and Fisheries Ministries and the Department of External Resources, while the Thai delegation included Thai Ambassador to Sri Lanka Poj Harnpol and other senior officials of the Thai Foreign Ministry.

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