Sri Lanka expressed hope Friday that it would be able to send more workers to South Korea as the two countries develop their ties in a wide range of fields, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said, according to the Yonhap.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the country’s minister of foreign employment promotion and welfare, Thalatha Atukorale, delivered the message during talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se in Seoul, the ministry said in a press release.
More than 42,000 Sri Lankan people have worked in South Korea, contributing to the two countries’ economic development, the ministry quoted Yun as saying during the meeting.
The two sides also discussed ways to boost bilateral ties in responding to the political situations on the Korean Peninsula and South Asia as well as in business, labor, development and culture.
In particular, the foreign ministers agreed to increase high-level exchange visits, policy consultations and other strategic dialogue ahead of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.
Also on the agenda was the countries’ response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Samaraweera expressed “deep concern” over the North’s nuclear test on Jan. 6 and long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7, saying Sri Lanka will continue to support South Korea’s position in dealing with the North.
Yun called for Sri Lanka’s support for South Korean firms seeking to take part in major urban development projects in the South Asian country and Samaraweera pledged his cooperation.
Samaraweera is the first Sri Lankan foreign minister to visit South Korea since the launch of the administration of President Maithripala Sirisena last year.
In 2014, two-way trade amounted to US$407 million, with South Korea exporting $314 million worth of textiles, steel and chemical machines to Sri Lanka while importing $93 million worth of minerals and woven garments from the South Asian country, according to official data. (Colombo Gazette)