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KOREA, SRI LANKA INK AGREEMENTS

President Maithripala Sirisena who is on an official visit to South Korea held discussions with President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul yesterday. Picture by Sudath Silva.

Sri Lanka and Korea yesterday inked five agreements to enhance economic, investment and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Korean President Moon Jae-in also agreed to provide technical assistance to set up a Tech City in Homagama and an Aero City in Katunayake on President Maithripala Sirisena’s request.

The two governments entered into an agreement to promote economic cooperation between the two countries and the relevant agreement was signed by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema and Korea’s Economic Affairs Minister.

Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorale signed a Memorandum of Understanding on sending and receiving of workers under the Employment Permit System with the Korean Employment and Labour Minister.

A Framework Agreement concerning loans from Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for 2017-2019 was signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana and the Korean Foreign Minister.

A Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of culture, arts, education, youth and sports was signed by Minister Tilak Marapana and the Korean Foreign Minister.

A Memorandum of Understanding concerning investment cooperation, by and between, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency was signed by BOI Head Dumindra Ratnayake and the CEO of the Korean Agency.

President Maithripala Sirisena requested the Korean President to increase the quota for Sri Lankan workers and the Korean leader said he would consider the possibility of the areas of employment to Sri Lanka, which is limited to fisheries and construction, to include agriculture and livestock

South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday said that President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit has resulted in the opening of a new glorious chapter of the bilateral friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

The visit takes place in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.

Speaking at the Summit Talks between the two countries at the Cheong Wa Dae or the Blue House , the President’s House in Seoul, he said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Sri Lanka and the current visit of President Sirisena has laid down a firm foundation for stronger cooperation in the next 40 years.

President Sirisena was ceremoniously received with a grand Guard of Honour in which the Korean soldiers in current and traditional military uniforms presented arms. When the President alighted from the vehicle, group of school children cheered him waiving the flags of Sri Lanka and Korea.

The two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, following which Expanded Summit Meeting was held with the participation of visiting Sri Lankan Ministers and Korean Ministers.

President Moon said that the two countries have common historical experiences as both were under colonial domination, both faced militant movements, there were authoritarian regimes and finally both have reestablished democracy and entered into the path of rapid progress and taking effective steps to combat corruption.

Ministers Dr Sarath Amunugama, Tilak Marapana, Daya Gamage, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Malik Samarawickrema and Thalatha Athukorale participated in the discussion.