A meeting of the Co-Chairs of the Sri Lanka-Russia intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation took place in the video-conference format on 15 June, 2021. Co-Chairs discussed the development of existing and promising areas of cooperation in detail at the meeting. Russian side was headed by Head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Ilya Shestakov and represented by the officials from Federal Agency for Fisheries, Ministry of Economic Development, Federal Customs Service, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industry & Trade, Rosinfokominvest JSC. Sri Lankan side was headed by Secretary of the Ministry of Trade Badrani Jayawardana and represented by officials from the Ministry of Trade, Foreign Ministry, Department of Commerce and Sri Lanka Embassy in Russia.

In his welcome speech, Co-Chair of the Russian side Ilya Shestakov emphasized that Sri Lanka is a long-standing and reliable partner of Russia in South Asia. He further stated that Russia is convinced that cooperation between the two countries has a significant potential for further development and prepared to work together with Sri Lanka for the successful implementation of the areas agreed by both parties. In her opening remarks, Co-Chair of the Sri Lankan side Badrani Jayawardana mentioned that Russia being a long-standing trading partner with Sri Lanka; it is obvious that a number of untapped opportunities are available to expand bilateral trade. Further, both sides would be able to strengthen ties in other areas such as investment, tourism and science and technology through proceedings of the Intergovernmental Commission.

The Russian side agreed for further cooperation in the customs affaires and assistance for mutual trade. Cooperation in the fields of energy, chemical, pharmaceutical and agriculture were also discussed. It was highlighted the importance of organizing the proposed working group on agriculture between the two countries and the Russian-Sri Lankan Fisheries Commission at the earliest. Cooperation in the field of IT sector was also in the agenda item of the meeting. The Sri Lankan side outlined in detail about ways and means in expanding market access on gem & jewelry sector, Ceylon tea and fisheries sector in the Russian market and briefed the issues that are faced by Sri Lankan partners. In the sphere of technical assistance, the Sri Lankan side requested R&D for improvement of pharmaceutical sector, agro based products, cooperation in the establishment of food safety management facility and improving of its standards.

The Russian side proposed, if the sanitary and epidemiological situation permits, to hold the 3rd session of the Sri Lanka-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation in offline format during autumn 2021 in Moscow. The Co-Chairs meeting was concluded with remarks that the forthcoming 3rd session of the Sri Lanka-Russia Intergovernmental Commission would be the right platform to discuss, in length, the ways and means of enhancing the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Source – Embassy of Sri Lanka Moscow / 01 July, 2021