President Ranil Wickremesinghe concluded a successful Working Visit to Singapore from 21 to 22 August 2023.

During the visit, President Wickremesinghe held wide ranging bilateral discussions with Singapore President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and senior Ministers of the Government of Singapore, aimed at augmenting bilateral relations prioritising the economic, defence, and environmental cooperation between the two countries.

Highlighting the importance placed by both countries on the need to enhance cooperation to meet the challenges posed by climate change, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration on carbon credits under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement was inked during the visit.

President Halimah Yacob said that the friendship between the two countries is anchored by strong people to people ties and cooperation across various sectors. She added that there is much scope to deepen ties in the future.

Emphasizing that food security and renewable energy are possible major areas for cooperation between the two countries, President Wickremesinghe conveyed that Sri Lanka is keen for Singaporean companies to invest in the development of cold chain and warehousing as well as renewable energy particularly in solar, wind and green hydrogen projects.

Both President Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong discussed actively elevating the partnership with a focus on economic cooperation. It was agreed that the recent forward movement on the implementation of the Sri Lanka Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) signed in 2018, reflected the emphasis placed on building stronger trade and investment ties between Sri Lanka and Singapore. With regard to securing greater employment opportunities for Sri Lankans, it was acknowledged the steady progress has been made in recent times in securing jobs for skilled workers from Sri Lanka particularly in the area of nursing and additional opportunities would be welcomed.

During the visit, Minister for Defence of Singapore, Ng Eng Hen, called on President Wickremesinghe and exchanged views on the rising security challenges in the region due to geo-political developments. Enhancing closer security and defence cooperation, it was agreed to work out modalities to strengthen the security partnership. Both President Wickremesinghe and Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen underlined how small maritime countries dependent on global trade and stability, can secure and improve the
future for citizens of the two countries.

Minister of Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore Grace Fu also called on President Wickremesinghe during the visit and briefed on the major Singapore Government initiatives in the area including inter alia the Singapore Green Plan, City in Nature, and Resilient Future and Green Economy programme. President Wickremesinghe highlighted Sri Lanka’s Climate Prosperity Plan, including Sri Lanka’s efforts to establish the world’s first Climate University next year to support the global effort in addressing climate change. The two sides acknowledged the signing of the MoU on collaboration on carbon credits as being a milestone development in the partnership in mitigating the challenges posed by climate change.

The Sri Lanka delegation accompanying President Wickremesinghe on the visit comprised Chief of Staff of the President and National Security Advisor Sagala Ratnayaka, Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Stabilization Recovery and Growth Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, and High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore Sashikala Premawardhane.

The visit was coordinated by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore.

Photo credits – Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Singapore

High Commission of Sri Lanka
24 August 2023

Comments are closed