Joint Statement by New Zealand and Sri Lanka on the Occasion of the Official Visit to New Zealand by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka: 1-3 October 2016


Joint Statement by New Zealand and Sri Lanka

on the Occasion of the Official Visit to New Zealand by

the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe,

1-3 October 2016

At the invitation of Rt. Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is paying an official visit to New Zealand from 1-3 October 2016, accompanied by Hon. Sagala Ratnayaka, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development; Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure; Hon. Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of City Planning and Water Supply; and Hon. Dr. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

2          Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s visit reciprocates a visit by Prime Minister Key to Sri Lanka in February 2016. The two Prime Ministers released this joint statement following official talks at Government House on 1 October in Auckland.

3          Having welcomed the deepening of the New Zealand–Sri Lanka relationship, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance bilateral relations in the years ahead. The two leaders noted that the reciprocal Prime Ministerial visits in 2016 reflected the importance that both countries placed on their bilateral relations. In this regard, the two leaders agreed to facilitate the holding of regular meetings at the political and senior officials’ levels, including the commencement of Foreign Ministry Consultations.

4          Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed their happiness on the progress made on the opening of resident High Commissions in Wellington and Colombo in the near future.

5          The two Prime Ministers underscored the desire of the Governments of New Zealand and Sri Lanka to further strengthen the bilateral commercial and trade ties, including investment promotion between the two countries. The two leaders noted the potential for trading in quality products such as Sri Lankan tea and cinnamon and New Zealand dairy products. During the visit, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will deliver a speech at an event hosted by the Sri Lanka New Zealand Business Council in Auckland to encourage greater New Zealand commercial interest in Sri Lanka.

6          The two Prime Ministers noted that agricultural cooperation was an important component of the bilateral commercial relationship. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe welcomed the role that New Zealand’s dairy industry has played in Sri Lanka for around half a century. In this regard, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was pleased to be meeting with Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, and experience first-hand New Zealand’s leading agricultural technology and approach towards dairy farming by visiting relevant plants and farms in Waikato. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the bilateral Dairy Cooperation Arrangement between New Zealand and Sri Lanka and announced the trial of Farm IQ technology being provided to Sri Lankan farmers by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.

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