Dec 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena meeting with a group of new envoys on Monday noted that the economic diplomacy rather than traditional diplomacy has gained priority in the world and emphasized the importance of innovative diplomacy that promotes investment attraction, exports and tourism.
Newly appointed Ambassadors and High Commissioners to 16 countries participated in a special discussion held with the Prime Minister at Temple Trees.
The Prime Minister instructed the new envoys to work to attract investment, promote exports and tourism, as well as enhance the image of Sri Lanka as a neutral, non-aligned country that is friendly to all.
The Premier also urged the new envoys to give maximum support to the investment and export promotion committees established by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Commenting on the economic crisis faced by the country and debt restructuring, the Prime Minister also asked the Sri Lankan delegations to work towards investments, joint ventures and bilateral partnerships rather than depending on aid and loans to enable production, exports and rapid development.
“We need to work closely with the expatriate community and their associations to get more investment, job opportunities and development assistance,” he told the new envoys.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that friendly nations can cooperate with Sri Lanka's efforts to achieve rapid economic recovery to become self-sufficient and to develop agriculture, industry, information technology and tourism.
Newly appointed ambassadors, former Foreign Secretary Chitrangani Wageeswara (Australia), former Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage (Indonesia), Manisha Gunasekara (France), H.M.G.R.K. Mendis (Bahrain), Dr. A.S.U. Mendis (Vietnam), Varuni Muthukumarana (Germany), Kapila Jayaweera (Lebanon), M.H.M.N. Bandara (Israel), KK Teshantha Kumarasiri (Ethiopia), Dr. Chanaka H. Talpahewa (Philippines), Priyanka Wijegunasekara (Jordan), B. Kandipan (Kuwait), Himali Arunathilake (Geneva), Udaya Indraratne (United Arab Emirates) and Sandi Emirates Samarasinghe (Consul General-Melbourne) participated in the discussion.