Colombo, Jan 30 (NIA) – European companies have expressed keen interest to develop commercial ties in Sri Lanka following the recent announcement by the European Commission on the restoration of the GSP plus trade facility, a statement by the Foreign Ministry said here Monday.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama held discussions with leading Belgian and European companies at a business round table hosted by Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT).
Minister Malik Samarawickrama during discussions with his counterpart, the Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem discussed ongoing projects in Sri Lanka to which Belgium has extended grant assistance amounting to US $ 41.46 million including the 7 railway bridges project and the Moneragala-Buttala Water Supply Project which are be completed this year.
“Belgium will make all efforts to benefit from the favourable investment climate in Sri Lanka following the decision of the EU to restore EU GSP plus,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Minister Karunanayake also met his counterpart Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt and discussed the possibility of upgrading Sri Lanka’s credit rating within the OECD mandate and obtaining technical assistance from Belgium to train Sri Lankan officials in several key sectors.
The two Ministers met European Commissioner for Development Cooperation Neven Mimica at the European Commission and discussed ongoing development assistance programmes funded by the EU including the integrated rural development programme in the Central and Uva Provinces to improve livelihood, access to drinking water and healthcare services.