PM says sometimes lockdowns necessary to keep people safe

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa says while lockdowns and health precautions can be difficult on everyone, sometimes it is necessary to keep people safe.

The Prime Minister expressed these views at a discussion with the Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka Dominik Furgler today.

The Prime Minister and the Ambassador of Switzerland discussed a number of areas of further cooperation between the two countries, including investment, exports, tourism and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ambassador commended the manner in which the Government is responding to the Coronavirus outbreak by publishing clear rules and enforcing them.

“I admire the way you deal with the COVID,” Ambassador Furgler said. “I feel safer this way.”

To contribute to the Government’s efforts to contain the outbreak, the Swiss Government is providing assistance to Sri Lanka with equipment which would enable faster PCR tests at the airport. This is also a part of collaboration to try to revive tourism to Sri Lanka once the situation improves. Towards that end, the Swiss Government has also provided technical assistance to the Sri Lanka Institute of of Tourism and Hotel Management to upgrade infrastructure, provide training and develop the curriculum.

The two delegations also discussed investments and exports. With economic development being a priority of the Government, the Ambassador said he will work on bringing in more Swiss investments.

Switzerland is currently the 8th largest investor in Sri Lanka. With regard to exports, the delegations discussed ways in which Sri Lanka can further diversify export product range to Switzerland to reap greater benefits from the Swiss GSP+ facility.

Currently, major exports from Sri Lanka to Switzerland include apparel, black tea, seafood, and gems and jewelry. (Colombo Gazette)