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DateLine Wednesday, 23 May 2007

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Afghan jobs for Lankans

Vast number of opportunities for professionals in many sectors:

JORDAN: A vast number of jobs will be open to Lankan professionals in the reconstruction process of Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has assured President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

President Karzai has made this pledge during bilateral talks with President Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the G-11 Summit in Jordan, Presidentís Secretary Lalith Weeratunga told the Daily News.

Accordingly, Sri Lanka will soon make arrangements to send professionals including engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, designers, IT personnel, accountants, auditors, doctors and other health professionals for the massive reconstruction in Afghanistan, the newest member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Weeratunga said this would be a golden opportunity for Lankans to contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, emerging from years of strife. Many reconstruction projects will be funded by the World Bank, other donor agencies and countries.

Apart from the professionals who will be directly involved in construction activity, there will be many more opportunities for Lankan experts for conducting feasibility reports, Environmental Impact Assessments and other consultancy processes, he added.

He said this would fuel growth in Sri Lanka in these sectors and create a bigger demand for Lankan professionals around the world. It will also help the country earn more foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Emir Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has pledged to grant more funds from the Kuwaiti Fund for development projects in Sri Lanka following extensive talks with President Rajapaksa.

The two leaders discussed the Kuwaiti Fund projects so far undertaken in Sri Lanka and the possibility of further cooperation. The Emir accepted the Presidentís invitation to visit Sri Lanka at the earliest opportunity.

The President also invited Jordanís King Abdullah Al Hussein to visit Sri Lanka soon. The Lankan Foreign Ministry will make arrangements for these State visits in consultation with the foreign ministries of the two countries.Weeratunga said the Presidentís Middle East visit was a great success.

The President developed close links with the G-11 leaders and Sri Lankaís presence at the World Economic Forum sent a strong signal to the international investor and business community about Lankaís commitment to a investment-friendly climate, he added.

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