Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Romania Cornel Feruţă held virtual bilateral Foreign Office consultations on 16 December 2020. A new roadmap for enhanced cooperation in prioritized sectors between Sri Lanka and Romania was identified at the third session of the Sri Lanka-Romania bilateral consultations.
The head of delegation of Sri Lanka and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, announced the opening of a Sri Lanka Embassy in Romania next year and reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to further consolidate the excellent bilateral engagement spanning sixty three years since 1957. Foreign Secretary Colombage also provided an overview of the economic and development priorities of the new Government, and highlighted the envisioned people-centric and knowledge-driven new beginning for Sri Lanka recognizing that the 21st Century was defined by knowledge and innovation.
Focusing on cooperation in the labour sector, State Secretary Feruţă stated that despite the pandemic Romania has continued to issue work permits to skilled and semi skilled workers from Sri Lanka. He stated that only this week 1,500 new work permits have been issued. There are currently over 8,000 Sri Lankan workers in Romania employed predominantly in the apparel, hospitality and construction sectors, with more skilled job opportunities opening up in other fields such as IT. State Secretary Cornel Feruţă further stated that the economic stimulus offered by the Romanian Government to workers in Romania had also been extended to cover foreign workers.
The discussions were wide ranging and substantive, and reviewed bilateral interests and ongoing programmes in the political, economic, education, energy, agriculture, labour, security, education and social areas. Both sides agreed to revitalize and expand the bilateral trade and investment portfolio to fully avail of the EU GSP+ facility and access the wider markets in Central Europe and Asia, respectively. Technical assistance in locomotive rehabilitation and production, capacity building to address skill gaps in the oil and gas sector and agri processing, were identified for further cooperation. The talks also reviewed shared interests in the regional and multilateral areas.
Senior officials representing Ministry of Buddhasana, Religious & Cultural Affairs, Department of Labour, Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, Department of Commerce and Foreign ministry, including Ambassador Victor Chiujdea of the Embassy of Romania in Colombo participated.
19 December 2020