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* Sri Lanka, Finland Premiers agree to strengthen ties, cooperate in energy sector
Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 08:21 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 10, Helsinki: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is visiting Finland on the invitation of Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Tuesday met with his Finnish counterpart in Helsinki for bilateral discussions to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.

The premiers held bilateral discussions on Tuesday 10 October at Kesäranta, the Prime Minister's Official Residence. The topics on their discussions focused on the countries' bilateral relations, commercial cooperation and international relations, including the relations between the European Union and Asian countries.

The two Premiers discussed their common commitment to strengthening the ties between their two countries in the field of energy with a forward looking and business-minded approach, a statement said.

During discussions the two countries agreed to promote the development of clean and renewable energies and stressed the importance of innovative technologies in climate change mitigation, both nationally and in the international context.

Following the discussions the Prime Ministers gave a Joint Declaration on closer energy cooperation between the two countries.

"I trust that with this Joint Declaration new opportunities will be opened for Finnish and Sri Lankan companies to collaborate in the energy sector. We also talked about many other fields where Finland has expertise and technologies to offer to Sri Lanka - digitalization, education, and health and water technologies," Prime Minister Sipilä said.

In the Joint Declaration, the Prime Ministers highlighted the efforts of their countries to support the use of renewable energy sources. They also emphasized the important role of innovations in achieving national targets and international commitments in mitigation of climate change, enhancing energy efficiency and utilization of clean and renewable energy technologies.

In addition, the Finnish and Sri Lankan Prime Ministers noted the importance of sustainable, reliable and affordable supply of electricity, as well as a need for the intensified utilization of various waste fractions, e.g. municipal solid waste, for energy generation purposes.

Given that both Finland and Sri Lanka have excellent potential for the development of renewable energy sources, the two Prime Ministers' discussed possible opportunities for concrete collaboration in a sustainable, innovative and profitable way. The two Prime Ministers noted that Finland can support Sri Lanka in its effort to acquire suitable technology from Finland to meet its renewable energy production goals and increasing demand.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that Finland and Sri Lanka will continue working to identify mutual areas of interest and possible cooperation activities in the areas of (1) Clean and renewable energy in power generation; wind, biomass, hydro, geothermal, wave, municipal, industrial, agro and solid waste (2) Smart Power Generation - Flexible and energy efficient technologies in power plants with oil and gas (3) Energy storage (4) Small and Medium scale LNG terminals.

The Prime Ministers agreed that a concrete showcase pilot project would be initiated in the field of wave energy and the national instruments facilitating the utility scale deployment of near shore wave energy power plants would be utilized as part of the implementation of Sri Lanka's Energy Plan to foster the use of the country's vast coastline and immense wave energy resource.

The Finnish and Sri Lankan Prime Ministers stated that possible forms of cooperation under this Joint Statement may include
(1) Sharing knowledge, expertise and lessons learned
(2) Sharing experiences in making polices, regulation and standards in planning, implementation and development of technologies
(3) Facilitating the identification of joint projects, pilots and partnerships through visits, meetings, workshops, co-creation sessions and site evaluations
(4) Facilitating establishment of direct contacts and relations between public institutions and private companies, academia and public-private institutions in respective countries
(5) Exchanging best practices through workshops and study visits for experts
(6) Encouraging development of partnerships in the context of multilateral development programs and projects of international Financial Institutions
(7) Other forms as may be agreed upon

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe along with a 10-member delegation visited Finland on 9 and 10 October on the invitation of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.


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