President Moon Jae- in of Republic of Korea said President Maithripala Sirisena’s current visit has resulted in the opening of a new glorious chapter of the bilateral friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The visit takes place in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. Speaking at the Summit Talks between the two countries at the Cheong Wa Dae or the Blue House, the President’s House in Seoul, he said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Sri Lanka and the current visit of President Sirisena has laid down a firm foundation for stronger cooperation in the next 40 years.
President Sirisena was ceremoniously received with a grand Guard of Honour in which the Korean soldiers in current and traditional military uniforms presented arms. When the President alighted from the vehicle, group of school children cheered him waiving the flags of Sri Lanka and Korea.
The two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, following which Expanded Summit Meeting was held with the participation of visiting Sri Lankan Ministers and Korean Ministers.
President Moon said that the two countries have common historical experiences as both were under colonial domination, both faced militant movements, there were authoritarian regimes and finally both have reestablished democracy and entered into the path of rapid progress and taking effective steps to combat corruption.
He also agreed to President Sirisena’s request to provide technical assistance to set up a Tech City in Homagma and Aero City in Katunayake.
Agreements on economic cooperation, economic development cooperation fund (EDCF) and cultural cooperation, as well as MoUs on investment cooperation and the Employment Permit System (EPS) were signed between the two Governments during the visit in the presence of the two presidents.
Agreement on Economic Cooperation was signed by the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrema and Korean Minister of Economic Affairs.
Memorandum of Understanding on sending and receiving of workers under the Employment Permit System was signed by Justice and Foreign Employment Minister, Thalatha Athukorale and Korean Minister of Employment & Labour.
Framework Agreement concerning loans from Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for 2017-2019 was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana and Korean Foreign Minister.
Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of culture, arts, education, youth and sports was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana and Korean Foreign Minister.
Memorandum of Understanding concerning investment cooperation, by and between, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency was signed by BOI Head Duminda Ratnayake and the CEO of the Korean Agency.
The agreement on establishing an employment permit system will assist current and future Sri Lankan workers ion Korea.
President Sirisena requested the Korean President to increase the quota for Sri Lankan workers and the Korean leader said he would consider the possibility of the areas of employment to Sri Lanka, which is limited to fisheries and construction, to include agriculture and livestock.
Ministers Dr Sarath Amunugama, Tilak Marapana, Daya Gamage,Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Malik Samarawickrema and Thalatha Athukorale participated in the discussion.