Colombo, 18 January 2023 (TDI): The Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Aruni Wijewardane met with the Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom, Philip Barton as the engaged in a wide range of discussion to further bilateral ties.

The parties met in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka specifically at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the 75th year of UK-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations celebrations.

At the start of the discussion, Aruni Wijewardane briefed her guest on the agenda of the government for this year, stating that this year was a year of socioeconomic stability, reconciliation, and recovery.

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She added that Sri Lanka was working hard to achieve these goals even before the year goes to an end. The economy of Sri Lanka has faced serious economic challenges due to so many factors.

Hence, it is seeking to recover from all those economic problems which have kept the country under the bridge for all these years.

Promoting socio-economic development, and trade relations, ensuring the country generates a high foreign income, and above all employing the people of Sri Lanka.

The Permanent Under-Secretary, Philip Barton encouraged Sri Lanka’s effort and stated that the UK is always ready to assist Sri Lanka in any way possible to achieve these aims.

In line with that, Aruni said, the significance of Sri Lanka’s economic partnership with the UK will be a great gain towards the achievement of these goals.

Furthermore, she added that the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) which provides duty-free access to the UK, market, as well as other sectors of the economy, especially the tourism sector, will help to generate revenue for the country.

They also talked about regional and international development. In this area, the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka briefed the other side on some of the country’s key foreign policy priorities for the year.