Apr 27, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the country today after completing a successful four-day state visit to South Korea.
During his visit to Seoul the President met with the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and held a summit to discuss ways to strengthen economic and other cooperation between the two countries.
Following the bilateral discussions Sri Lanka and Korea signed three agreements in the fields of power and energy, information technology and economic cooperation.
An agreement was signed for South Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund to provide US$ 200 million for the development activities in Sri Lanka.
During the bilateral discussion with his South Korean counterpart, President Rajapaksa appreciated the assistance rendered by Korea for development activities in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the key business leaders of Korea during a luncheon, the President told the Korean investors that Sri Lanka today is able to provide a robust new investment destination as a frontier country to the rest of the world and asked them to make use of the investment opportunities available in the country.
He further pointed out the possibility of entering into a free trade agreement between the two countries as Sri Lanka's exports to Korea has grown up to US$ 46 million last year.
The President told the Korean investors that Sri Lanka is mainly looking to welcome new investments in the fields of infrastructure, port related activities, aviation services, knowledge based industries, tourism and leisure industry and commercial services.
The President visited Seoul's Mapo Resource Recovery Plant, a state-of-the-art resource incineration facility that incinerates about 650 tons of garbage a day from neighboring residential areas generating power to supply heating and hot water to residents.
The President attended the Sri Lanka - Korea Business Forum hosted by the Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he described the conducive environment and opportunities present in Sri Lanka for Korean companies for trade, investments and tourism.
He also visited the Kori Nuclear Power Plant in Bhusan, the oldest nuclear plant in South Korea, to observe the operations as Sri Lanka is concerned over the safety of the nuclear power plants in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.
The President was accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation which comprised Ministers Prof. G. L. Peiris, Dullas Alahapperuma, MPs Namal Rajapaksa, Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Roshan Ranasinghe, Sunny Rohana, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunathilaka Amunugama, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy M. M. C. Ferdinando, Sri Lanka Ambassador in South Korea Tissa Wijeratne, Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Prasanna Wickramasuriya.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)