France keen to boost relations with Lanka

01France is very eager to strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation with Sri Lanka in several areas such as trade, investment, tourism, fisheries, water purification, environment protection and curtailing drug smuggling, the President’s office said in a statement.

French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh said this when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena today at the President’s office.

The Ambassador said the number of French trade and investment businessmen and tourist arrivals has increased substantially after the new government assumed office in January this year in Sri Lanka.

He said a leading French company has shifted its Asian headquarters to Sri Lanka and investors too look at Sri Lanka as a potential location for investments.

The Ambassador also said that the number of French tourists who arrive in Sri Lanka is expected to cross the 100,000 mark this year for the first time.

President Sirisena thanked France for the assistance given for development activities in Sri Lanka. He made a special mention about the new water treatment plant established in Matale.

The President also asked for French assistance for major programmes such as food production, prevention of drug smuggling and eradication of drugs and protection of environment.

Ambassador Schuh said France is organizing a major international climate conference called CUP 21in Paris in December 2015 and sought Sri Lanka’s participation to make the event a success. He said more than 40,000 people will attend the climate conference. (Colombo Gazette)