Sri Lanka FM seeks Singapore’s assistance to secure bridge financing during official visit

Sri Lanka FM seeks Singapore’s assistance to secure bridge financing during official visit

Fri, Jun 10, 2022, 09:55 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 10, Colombo: At the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister Foreign Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris undertook an official visit to Singapore from 8-9 June, 2022. An official visit of a Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka to Singapore took place after four years.

During the visit, Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister held a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Dr. Balakrishnan. He also met with Singapore’s Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong, who is due to assume the post of Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore on 13 June, 2022.

Singapore Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam hosted the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister for lunch on 8 June with the participation of the Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore S. Iswaran with many other dignitaries.

The discussions with the Singapore side centered on the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Minister Peiris sought assistance from the Government of Singapore for Sri Lanka to secure bridging financing, increase foreign direct investments and increase opportunities for Sri Lankan exports to Singapore.

The Minister also sought the support of the Government of Singapore to obtain more employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in Singapore. At present, the two countries are closely working on deploying healthcare workers, in particular, nurses to Singapore.

Minister Peiris also met with Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam on June 9th and had a wide ranging discussion on the current situation in Sri Lanka.

Minister Peiris briefed Minister Shanmugaratnam on issues relating to Sri Lanka’s economy and the staff level discussions with the IMF. He requested Singapore’s assistance with regard to the way forward in resolving these issues.

The Foreign Minister also had interactions with Senior Minister of State for Healthcare and Manpower of Singapore Dr Koh Poh Koon, Non- Resident High Commissioner of Singapore to Sri Lanka Chandra Das, Benedict Cheong, CEO of Temasek Foundation International, Vice Chairman (Asia) of the Temasek Group, and senior representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

During these interactions, the Foreign Minister thanked the Government of Singapore and Temasek Foundation International for the extensive assistance extended throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support Sri Lanka’s healthcare response by providing much needed medical supplies and equipment and also collaborating on overcoming supply chain disruptions by producing facemasks in Sri Lanka for distribution by Temasek in Singapore and overseas.

The Minister also expressed appreciation for the recent appeal by the Singapore Red Cross for humanitarian assistance for which the Government of Singapore pledged USD 100,000. The first consignment of medical supplies from the Red Cross appeal has already reached Sri Lanka.

The delegation of the Foreign Minister’s official visit included High Commissioner Sashikala Premawardhane, senior officials of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore, and Private Secretary to the Minister T.N. Gamlath and Chairman of the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) of Sri Lanka.

Following the official visit, Foreign Minister Peiris is scheduled to attend the IISS-Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 to be held from 10-11 June, 2022. The Official visit was coordinated by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore.

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