SL, France commit to boost ties at inaugural bilateral consultation
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka and France have agreed to boost trade investment and tourism bilateral ties and friendly political relations this week at the inaugural bilateral consultations between the two Foreign Ministries at senior official level in Colombo.
The consultations were part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and France which took place on 27 October 1948.
The consultations focused on strengthening bilateral relations, supporting ongoing work on existing projects and initiatives, and identifying new areas of partnership and coordinated action between the two countries.
The consultations reflected the desire expressed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting in Colombo on 28 July, 2023, to strengthen the partnership between the two countries.
The two parties reviewed progress in political relations; security; cultural cooperation and people-to-people contacts. They expressed their shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The parties discussed the expansion of trade, investment, tourism and development cooperation between the two countries and between Sri Lanka and the EU, including the setting up of relevant modalities to facilitate economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and France.
The parties committed to strengthening cooperation in the field of education by welcoming the support of France towards the teaching of the French language in Sri Lanka as well as strengthening cooperation between the two countries through academic and research exchanges between institutions of higher education.
Sri Lanka appreciated the role played by France in bringing together the creditor platform under the aegis of the Paris Club in advancing the debt restructuring discussions.
The two parties discussed progress in Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring program. Reference was made to the need to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all creditors.
France commended the action and reforms undertaken by Sri Lanka as part of the program agreed with the IMF, and expressed its firm commitment and support towards the country’s economic recovery.
The two sides reiterated their shared commitment to cooperate on global issues, including the sustainable development goals, climate change and environmental protection, food security, reform of the multilateral financial architecture.
It has been agreed to deepen their joint efforts in the future, building upon their participation in the Paris Pact for the People and the Planet.
The parties expressed their willingness to work together in preparation for the Third United Nations Ocean Conference to be held in France in 2025.