President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and to the Heads of State Banks to implement a comprehensive program of 100 types of joint loan schemes, within the next few months, to provide assistance for the local small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and businessmen and women to uplift their businesses.
The Decision arrived at during Sri Lanka’s Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to resume substantive work, and the role played in this regard by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, has been commended during the High-Level Segment of the CD held in Geneva this week.
In his address to the CD on Monday (26 February 2018), the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres, referred to the recent Decision of 16 February 2018 as an effort “to find ways to break the long-standing stalemate in this Conference". He further said “I believe you are off to the best start in nearly two decades, and I look forward to building on this new momentum”.
At a follow-up meeting held on the sidelines of the High-Level segment, UNSG’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said she was "deeply impressed and grateful for the leadership offered by Ambassador Aryasinha in adopting the Decision which is a contribution not only to the CD, but also towards the overall objective of disarmament". She requested Sri Lanka to help with the immediate next steps in the implementation of the recent CD Decision.
The Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organziation (CTBTO) Mr. Lassina Zerbo in his address at the High - Level segment noted that “The decision taken by the Conference on 16 February has sent a very encouraging message to the international community: Concrete steps are being taken to advance the substantive work of the Conference on Disarmament”.
The Foreign Minister of the current CD Presidency – Sweden, Ms. Margot Wallström observed that, “It is in these times of hardship that we must multiply our efforts and show that the conference on disarmament, as a platform for diplomacy, can achieve results that bring us closer to our common goal of disarmament. During the past weeks, intensive consultations have been conducted under the able leadership of the Ambassador of Sri Lanka. During these consultations we sensed that there was an emerging will, underpinned by a spirit of compromise, to get the CD back on track. That sense proved correct. The CD eventually managed to adopt a decision that paves the way for structured discussions.” “My gratitude also goes to the Ambassador of Sri Lanka Ravinatha Aryasinha for his hard and successful efforts to establish Subsidiary Bodies of the CD”, the Minister added.
In their statements to the High-Level segment, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Brazil, Egypt, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Myanmar, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Venezuela commended the recent Decision and Sri Lanka’s leadership role. Earlier, the delegations from Australia, China, Cuba, France, India, Pakistan, Spain, UK, and the USA had welcomed and extended support for the decision secured during Sri Lanka's Presidency.
Wellness tourism sector has been identified as one of the key sectors for development and promotion in the National Export Strategy and accordingly, a plan of action has been developed with key stakeholders, said Indira Malwatte, Chairperson and CEO of Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka recently hosted a 14-strong delegation from the IMC (Chamber of Commerce and Industry). The IMC has around 2700 direct members and includes diverse section of public and private limited companies and over 220 trade and industry associations.
The 17th edition of Sri Lanka’s largest food, packaging and agriculture expo, Pro Food / Pro Pack and Ag-Biz Exhibition will be held from 3rd-5th August 2018 at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Hall.
The State Government of Victoria, in association with the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne and the Aus-Lanka Business Council, organised a well-attended networking reception to recognise mutual opportunities for trade and investment between Sri Lanka and the State of Victoria on 23 February 2018 at the Investment Centre of Victoria in Melbourne. The event was hosted by Philip Dalidakis, MP, and Minister for Trade Investment, Innovation and Digital Economy, Small Business, and International Education of Victoria.
The Air Transport Bill which will give effect to the Montreal Conventions and deals with conforming to international standards and rules on international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo was approved by the Cabinet.