Sri Lanka-Malaysia Joint Commission focuses on cooperation in many
COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka-Malaysia Joint Commission meeting at its
inaugural session focused on economic, technical, cultural and human
resources development cooperation among a host of other issues of mutual
benefit to both countries.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Syed Hamid
Albar visited Sri Lanka from June 21 to 23 to participate in the
inaugural session of the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Joint Commission meeting.
The Minister's first official visit to Sri Lanka was at the
invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. Dato'
Seri Syed Hamid Albar was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Sharifah
Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin and senior officials.
The High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka Nazirah Hussain was a
member of the delegation. Malaysia's private sector was also
Senior officials from the line Ministries and agencies in Sri Lanka
constituted the Sri Lanka delegation, including Sri Lanka's High
Commissioner in Malaysia, C.D. Casie Chetty. Private Sector participants
on the Sri Lanka side were led by the Chairman of the Sri Lanka-Malaysia
Business Council, Rohitha de Silva.
During the visit, the Malaysian Foreign Minister called on President
Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake and Foreign
Minister Mangala Samaraweera and discussed a number of matters of mutual
The Joint Commission focused on a number of issues of interest to
both sides covering economic and commercial matters, technical and
scientific cooperation and cooperation in areas such as tourism,
culture, sports, immigration and human resources development.
Both sides reviewed the overall state of bilateral relations and
acknowledged the satisfactory development of relations between the two
countries. With regard to trade, both sides noted with satisfaction, the
increasing trend in bilateral trade between Malaysia and Sri Lanka and
agreed to work towards strengthening bilateral trade, taking advantage
of opportunities both in a bilateral and regional framework.
On investments, both sides noted with satisfaction the active
participation and interest shown by the Malaysian Private Sector in Sri
Lanka. Malaysia remains one of the largest investors in Sri Lanka. The
Malaysian side took note of Sri Lanka's proposal for the participation
of Malaysian investors in a dedicated Export Processing Zone.
Both sides agreed to further enhance cooperation in investment
promotional activities for their mutual benefit. Malaysian investors
were invited to invest in high sea fishing and aquaculture as well as in
port development and in power projects utilising biomass.
Both countries agreed to boost tourism cooperation between Malaysia
and Sri Lanka as tourist destinations. They also noted with
satisfaction, the excellent bilateral cooperation in air services
between the two countries particularly in the "Open Skies Arrangements"
which had been agreed upon recently.
The two sides agreed to cooperate in dealing with disasters such as
the 2004 tsunami through a programme of workshops, seminars and capacity
On the occasion of the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic
relations between Malaysia and Sri Lanka in 2007, the two sides agreed
to hold a series of events that would further enhance the strong ties
that exist between their peoples and governments. They agreed that an
exchange of high level visits should be undertaken to mark this
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Joint Commission would be
held in Malaysia in 2007 on dates to be mutually agreed upon through
At the conclusion of the Joint Commission Meeting, the Sri Lankan and
Malaysian sides signed a Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding on
Building an Expressway between Colombo and Kandy on a build, operate and
The MoU was signed in the presence of the two Foreign Ministers.