Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has asked the Sri Lankan envoys to focus mainly on economic diplomacy as the country needs the cooperation of other countries for rapid economic progress of the country.

Addressing the 10 newly appointed Sri Lankan envoys at the Temple Trees on Monday (Nov.13), Gunawardena urged them to showcase Sri Lanka’s ability to interact with the rest of the world, take new initiatives to attract investments and joint ventures.

“Our focus is to increase trade and investments. While engaging with host governments and premier business houses, leading investors and chambers of commerce and industry, you have to promote Sri Lanka as an attractive destination, not merely as a tourist destination but mainly as a place suitable for investment and trade.

“Sri Lanka can rapidly grow its own economy by closely engaging with other nations. It is also a pragmatic response to the shift in the world economy towards Asia, particularly the economic rise of China, India, and ASEAN,” he said.

The Prime Minister advised new envoys to interact with Sri Lankan expatriate organizations in host countries and important friends of Sri Lanka in those countries to build new network to promote bilateral ties.

He stressed the need for strengthening ties with the Spanish speaking world, especially Latin American countries through accredited ambassadors of those countries.

The newly appointed Heads of Mission are Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne (Pakistan), Air Marshal Sudharshan Pathirana (Nepal), former Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Senewiratne (India), Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne (Cuba), Satyajit Rodrigo (Italy), Madurika Weninger (Egypt), Dharamapala Weerakkody (Bangladesh), Senerath Dissanayake (Singapore) and Chandana Weerasena (Belgium and the European Union). New High Commissioner to UK, Rohitha Bogollagama could not attend due to prior engagement, MP Yadamini Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Anura Dissanayake, Advisor Sugeeswara Senadhira, Additional Secretary of Foreign Ministry Mohammad Jauhar and Director General Wijayanthi Edirisinghe were also present during the meeting.