The Fourth Session of the Sri Lanka – Maldives Joint Commission co-chaired by Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid of Maldives was successfully concluded on 07 June 2023 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo.

Sri Lanka and Maldives signed Memoranda of Understanding in the areas of Cultural Cooperation, Health cooperation and the establishment of the Maldives Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka.

The Ministerial meeting was preceded by the Meeting of Senior Officials held on 06 June 2023 that was co-chaired by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yasoja Gunasekara and Secretary, Bilateral Affairs of the Foreign Ministry of the Maldives Hala Hameed.

The Joint Commission focused on further expanding bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including Trade and Investment, Tourism, Employment, Fisheries, Education, Health, and Cultural cooperation between the two countries. Both sides agreed to intensify their efforts to bolster engagement with a view to enhancing cooperation in these areas. Both countries recognized the importance of implementation of the existing agreements, and agreed to pursue new agreements.  In order to facilitate implementation of agreed cooperation, both sides also decided to set up working groups in the areas of Trade, Fisheries, Tourism and Health.

The Joint Commission yielded several beneficial outcomes for Sri Lanka, including the possibility of expansion of cooperation in the tourism and fisheries sectors, expanding employment opportunities, as well as agreement reached on facilitating trade and investments in the Maldives. To promote Sri Lanka as a viable   education hub among Maldivian students, Sri Lanka expressed its willingness to expedite actions to complete the required due procedures in facilitating the issuance of visas for students under 18 years of age, on concessionary and reciprocal basis.

The Maldives – Sri Lanka Joint Commission which was established in 1984 provides a platform for regular and more structured review of the longstanding bilateral relations and dialogue between the two countries.

The next Joint Commission will be held in 2025 in Malé.