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UAE to promote Sri Lanka’s trade, investment, and economic cooperation

Sri Lanka has been enjoying friendly relations with the UAE in all spheres including trade, investment, tourism and economic cooperation and that the total turnover in bilateral trade between the countries has now crossed US$2 billion.

The cordial relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE are based on trust, mutual understanding and friendship. The UAE is the largest export market for the Sri Lankan products and the largest source of imports to Sri Lanka in the GCC Region, foreign ministry sources said.

“The expanding mandate of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai is focused on continuing to promote Sri Lanka’s trade, investment, tourism and employment interests in the UAE while catering to the needs of Sri Lankans living and working in the UAE in every possible way,” foreign ministry official added.

He mentioned that the dynamism displayed by the entrepreneurs of both nations was a distinct feature in the enhancement of commercial relations between the two countries during the recent past.

A number of Sri Lankan companies have been participating in the Gulf Food exhibition, Arab Health, Arabian Travel Market and other major trade events on a regular basis with a view to furthering business links.

“Moreover, the outbound tourism from UAE to Sri Lanka has also seen a remarkable growth in the last few years, as Sri Lanka has become a very attractive destination for holiday makers and leisure seekers.”

“100,000 people from different nationalities from the UAE visit Sri Lanka every year, of which around 10,000 visitors were Emirates.

Referring to several mega projects that are underway in Sri Lanka such as the Colombo Port City, he said that just as the UAE was the trade and tourism hub in the GCC region, Sri Lanka aimed to become a similar hub in the South Asian region.

The first session of the Joint Committee for Consular Affairs (JCCA) between Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates was held in Colombo at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 22 February with the participation of official delegations, representing Sri Lanka and the UAE.

The meeting was conducted, as per the provisions of the Memorandum of Understating (MoU) signed between Sri Lanka and the UAE in November 2017.

The respective delegations comprised officials representing the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other vital line ministries and agencies.

The meeting focused on a wide range of mutually important consular related areas, including human smuggling and human trafficking, illegal migration, deportation and repatriation of nationals in custody of both countries and expediting compensation payment to eligible persons. Both delegations agreed to enhance cooperation in combating human trafficking, including by sharing information.

The UAE delegation also made a comprehensive presentation on the existing labour laws and regulations, with an emphasis on the rights of employees, the procedure to be followed in notifying authorities when labour contracts are violated, and providing relief to affected persons.

It was also decided to include the updated UAE labour regulations in the SLBFE training modules, with a view to educating prospective migrant workers, in the UAE.

The heads of delegation emphasized the importance of continuing the interactions on mutually agreed matters at the JCCA sessions as per the provisions of the MoU and assured the implementation of the decisions arrived at the JCCA.

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