Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe undertakes an official visit to Mexico
Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States Mahinda Samarasinghe, who is concurrently accredited to the United Mexican States (Mexico), undertook his first official visit to Mexico City from 17 to 21 October 2023.
During the visit, the Bilateral Agreement for the Establishment of a Mechanism of Consultations on Matters of Common Interest Between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and Sri Lanka was signed by the Ambassador Samarasinghe and Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Carmen Moreno Toscano paving the way for future bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The ambassador invited the government of Mexico to consider conducting initial bilateral consultation in Colombo and hand over a written communication to this effect.
Ambassador Samarasinghe briefed the Mexican officials on economic challenges faced by Sri Lanka and the measures being taken to overcome them including the IMF’s extended fund facility (EFF) and debt restructuring negotiations. He also discussed the reforms being undertaken to promote governance, human rights and, reconciliation in Sri Lanka. At a meeting with Director General for Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico Counselor Roberto De Leon Huerta, the ambassador briefed on current attempts by the Government of Sri Lanka to foster human rights protection, improve governance and, move towards reconciliation. They also discussed challenges to post conflict reconciliation efforts and how to address them.
On 20 October 2023, the Ambassador had a meeting with Chairman of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Mexican Senate Senator Hector Vasconcelos. The Ambassador handed over a letter from the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, recalling the past association and friendship between his late father, Philip Gunawardena, and the Senator’s late father Jose Vasconcelos Calderon – a senior figure of the Mexican socialist movement in the early 20th Century. The Ambassador briefed the Senator on current developments in Sri Lanka.
On 19 and 20 October, the ambassador met with the leadership of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE) and several leading Mexican personalities involved in trade and commercial enterprises who are members of the Council who have an interest in Sri Lanka.Vice Chairman of COMCE/ Chairman, Agricultural Committee/ Chairman, Mexico–India-Iran-Turkey bilateral Committees Jorge Lopez Morton, and Vice Chairman, Asia Pacific of COMCE Agustin Garcia Rechy along with other officers attended the meeting. The purpose was to further explore opportunities for Mexican businesses importing goods from Sri Lanka as well as exporting to Sri Lanka. Ambassador Samarasinghe thanked COMCE for organizing the meeting and briefly highlighted the prospects for strengthening bilateral trade relations between our two countries.
The Ambassador noted that there are numerous fields including cinnamon, tea, porcelain, and apparel in relation to which enhanced trade opportunities exist. Minister/Commercial of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. Charitha Yattogoda, who accompanied the ambassador made a presentation highlighting details related to the bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Mexico, especially enhancing potential exports to Mexico, investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka that includes new areas of opportunity such as the Port City of Colombo.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
30 October 2023