“After the end of the civil war, five years is not enough to heal the wounds of war. But Sri Lanka has shown a rapid growth in infrastructure development and is experiencing economic growth, driven by large-scale reconstruction and development projects by the Government. This development forecasts that in the next decade, Sri Lanka will become a paradise,” said Bernard Kamillius Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Tanzania at a media conference held at the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.
Minister Membe and his delegation arrived in Sri Lanka Monday morning and met with his Sri Lankan counterpart Prof. G.L. Peiris at the Ministry of External Affairs. for increasing bilateral affairs between of two countries by signing MoUs regarding Sustainable Coconut Research and Development, Bilateral Political Consultations and Establishment of Joint Commission for Cooperation.
Formal diplomatic relations with Tanzania were established in 1973. Presently the Sri Lanka High Commission in Uganda is concurrently accredited to Tanzania.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid his very first State visit to Tanzania from 27-29 June 2013 at an invitation of Tanzanian President Jakaya Mirisho Kikewte. The visit coincided with the President‘s participation in the Global 2013 Smart Partnership Dialogue in Dar es Salaam. During the visit two MoUs in the field of tourism cooperation, MoU on Cultural Cooperation and an agreement on economic and technical cooperation were signed.
President Jakaya attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2013) last year in Colombo. On behalf of the Tanzanian President, Membe expressed satisfaction on the conduct of CHOGM 2013 successfully.
The visit further enhanced the bilateral relations between Tanzania and Sri Lanka, particularly Sri Lanka assisting to develop power and energy including mini hydro projects in Tanzania. Sri Lankan private companies have already invested in Tanzania.
Sri Lanka will provide technical knowhow and share experiences in Textile industry and coconut industry. Membe admired the Sri Lankan coconut trade and the textile garment trade which have gained local as well as global success economically.
Membe, having noted that Sri Lanka has embarked on a path of accelerated development, invited those countries who still have negative impact on Sri Lanka to visit and experience Sri Lanka to see for themselves the Government’s economical and infrastructure development and the social rehabilitation.
Sri Lanka obtaining Accreditation Status in the African Union (AU) as a non-African State recently turned a new chapter in the history of Sri Lanka-Africa relations. Both countries are members of the NAM, G –77 and the Commonwealth.