IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEIR LEADERS MET SRI LANKA AND BULGARIA STARTED OFF WITH A BUSINESS FORUM WHERE ENTERPREUNERS MET
Posted on November 2nd, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Bulgaria and Sri Lanka immediately after their leaders President Georgi Parvanov and President Mahinda Rajapaksa met in Colombo for bilateral talks and a state lunch took the first steps to promote trade by starting off with a business dialogue for their entrepreneurs.

Minister Dr. G.L. Peiris addressing a business forum of both Bulgarian and Sri Lankan businessmen said the visitors have come at the best possible time since after a 30 year war Sri Lanka is looking forward of establishing new investment opportunities for rapid development under favourable terms.

A business forum was organised in Colombo November 1. It was arranged by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka. It opened under the patronage of Minister Dr. G.L. Peiris. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce small scale Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to more than 70 investors who had come from Bulgaria and to appraise them about the availability of investment opportunities.

Expressing his views the Minister said the visit of the Bulgarian delegation including its President will help uplift the private sector of the two countries.

Among those present were Bulgarian Economic and Energy Minister Trivo Trikov, President of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Stephen Simionov, BOI Chairman Dhammika Perera and Export Development Board Chairman Anil Koswatte.

In the joint statement issued by both countries at the end of the visit the ongoing economic ties between Sri Lanka and the European Union of which Bulgaria is a member was mentioned. The EU gives the GSP + concession to Sri Lanka. The joint statement said, “The two presidents have been unanimous in their stance that the development of EU-Sri Lanka relations contributes to the country’s prosperity. They have noted the mutual willingness for continuing the constructive dialogue for enhanced economic, trade and investment cooperation.”

A business delegation from Bulgaria, which accompanied the visiting President, joined the Business Forum later in the day. A Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry which would aim to enhance private sector economic cooperation between the two countries.

During the morning sessions of the talks of the two leaders they diverted attention to further enhancing bilateral political dialogue and cooperation in the economic, cultural and other spheres of mutual interest. It was pointed out that both sides enjoy excellent cooperation in the framework of the UN and other international organizations. The Bulgarian leader was informed by the Sri Lankan President about the efforts made in the process of post conflict rehabilitation. Bulgaria was confident that the process will be successfully completed.

Parvanov said he hoped this process will be successfully completed on the basis of substantive participation of all ethno- religious communities, while preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

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