Basil seeks better ties with Prague

Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa has sought better ties with the Czech Republic and has invited Prime Minister Petr Necas to visit Sri Lanka.
A joint communiqué said that Rajapaksa, who just concluded an official visit to Prague, met the Czech Prime Minister and discussed issues of mutual interest and benefit for both countries, including the strengthening of economic and political ties, cultural relations and cooperation in other important areas.
Rajapaksa extended an invitation to the Czech Prime Minister to visit Colombo to further enhance the cordial relations that exist between the two countries and to provide political momentum to the joint exploration of new avenues of cooperation in areas of shared interest between the two countries.
Minister Rajapaksa also met with the Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kuba and discussed prospects for enhanced trade and economic cooperation as well as opportunities for joint collaboration in the important sectors of economy of the two countries.
It was highlighted that vast potential exists for investment in Sri Lanka for the Czech Republic in several areas such as infrastructure, energy, water and environment protection, food processing, sugar industry, leisure, recreation and hospitality, higher education, as well as in the vital sector of the small and medium enterprises.
Minister Rajapaksa observed that there was increased potential for Czech tourists to visit the country with Sri Lanka tourism sector expanding.
Both Ministers expressed their intention to conclude an agreement on mutual cooperation between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Economic Development of Sri Lanka in order to create favourable conditions for further development of trade and economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
The Czech side handed over a draft of an agreement to the Sir Lankan side in this regard.
Rajapaksa also met Tomas Dub, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and discussed issues of mutual interest, both international and regional, and ways for enhancing bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade, investment and  tourism.  (Colombo Gazette)