Sri Lanka to receive increased development support and employment opportunities from Korea
Daily FT: Korea has announced the doubling of the employment quota for Sri Lankan migrant workers and increases in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
This was conveyed by Korea Minister for Government Policy Coordination Koo Yun-Cheol when he called on Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris recently.
The meeting was followed by a luncheon where the two sides discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and explored ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties between Korea and Sri Lanka.
Extending Sri Lanka’s deep appreciation to the Korean Government for the enormous support extended thus far through loan assistance under the Economic Development Co-operation Fund (EDCF) and grant assistance via the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the Government is looking forward to further expansion into many areas including pharmaceutical production, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), waste disposal, energy, technology, vocational training, and education.
Minister Peiris also explained the challenges Sri Lanka is currently experiencing with regard to its external budget and both sides agreed to work together to further enhance collaboration in mutually beneficial sectors.
Approximately 22,000 migrant Sri Lankans are employed in Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS). The Foreign Minister expressed appreciation to the Government of Sri Lanka for providing a pleasant working environment for Sri Lankans and looking after their welfare.
Minister Koo Yun-Cheol stated that the Korean Government has already focused on providing more employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in South Korea. The Minister further highlighted that Sri Lanka has been listed as one of Korea’s priority countries for Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) allocations.
State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the discussion.
Sri Lanka’s ongoing development programme has attracted the attention of many bilateral and multilateral financial institutions that have identified the growing business potential in the country. The country’s key economic sectors continue to be on a growth path despite facing the impact of the global Covid 19 pandemic. Sri Lanka’s economy has shown great resilience to external and internal challenges through the years and is once again on the path to recovery after facing one of the worst economic crisis faced by the country. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the strong trade ties have also helped boost the country’s image as a growing business destination in the South Asian region. Foreign businesses/investors, especially Korean businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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