Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister on an official visit to Norway

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signs the visitor’s book at Norway’s Upper House of Parliament, looked on by Chairperson Tone Wilhelmsen Troen and Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa. Pictures by Rukmal Gamage

Norway and Sri Lanka have noted in a joint statement that clear rules and a stable framework are necessary for sound resource management and blue growth.

The joint statement was issued after the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held talks in Oslo yesterday.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out.

The joint statement said that the framework is of paramount importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector. The integrity of the Convention needs to be maintained.

Foto: Eirin Larsen, SMK

Joint Statement by H.E. Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Hon. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on the Occasion of the Official Visit from Sri Lanka to Oslo, 5 October 2018.

1. Norway and Sri Lanka have developed strong bilateral relations over many years based on mutual respect and cooperation. We share democratic values and are firm supporters of a rules-based global order, through multilateral cooperation, international law, human rights and the United Nations system, including the UN Security Council.

2. Norway and Sri Lanka are dedicated supporters of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and are committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Meeting the SDGs will require a coherent approach to global, regional and national development. The SDGs are universal, and all UN member states are committed to implementing them by 2030.

Norway and Sri Lanka will continue to cooperate in implementing SDG number 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Innovative and knowledge-based partnerships, in particular with the private sector, are a prerequisite for successful implementation of the SDGs. Private sector engagement will be indispensable in the coming years to support initiatives that promote prosperity in general and job opportunities for young people in particular. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be crucial for all future generations.

Norway and Sri Lanka share a strong and common interest in the sustainable management and use of our oceans and the blue economy. Without the oceans, there would be no life on our planet.

The oceans are essential in order to meet the future needs of the world’s growing population for food security, medicines, energy and minerals. Estimates show that ocean-based industries could more than double their contribution to the world economy by 2030. Norway and Sri Lanka share the conviction that safeguarding the fragile marine environment must be a priority, while at the same time, developing new industries and activities in a sustainable manner.

3. Norway and Sri Lanka encourage further scientific development, sharing best practices and achieving a common understanding of problems such as pollution, marine litter and micro plastics, as well as overfishing. Closer international cooperation is important in this regard.

Clear rules and a stable framework are necessary for sound resource management and blue growth. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. This framework is of paramount importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector. The integrity of the Convention needs to be maintained. Norway and Sri Lanka both value the importance of free trade and open and secure access to international waters. In this context, both countries acknowledge the Parties’ commitment to the “Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.”

Norway and Sri Lanka are pleased with the recent mission of the Norwegian research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen in Sri Lankan waters to carry out a resource mapping survey, at the request of the Sri Lankan Government. The survey will give Sri Lanka up-to-date data, which will be of great value in the management of the country’s fisheries resources in the years to come.

Norway commends Sri Lanka for cooperating with other states in the Bay of Bengal region and leading an international dialogue on the sustainable management of their ocean resources. Norway has invited Sri Lanka to participate in the ‘Our Ocean Conference’ to be held in Norway in October 2019.

4. Private sector cooperation between Norway and Sri Lanka and increased trade and investment are welcome.

The blue economy is a cornerstone of both the Norwegian and Sri Lankan economies. Norway has a unique position in the global maritime industry, including some of the world’s leading ship-owners, shipping companies, shipyards, ship equipment companies, and a whole range of specialised marine and maritime services. Sri Lanka is a gateway to almost 3 billion people in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and is located close to some of the busiest trading routes in the world. Sri Lanka is well positioned to become a trading and maritime hub.

Norway and Sri Lanka will explore further cooperation in areas such as innovation and ocean-technology, fisheries and aquaculture, and sustainability of fish resources.

Both countries also recognize the potential for enhanced private sector cooperation within the information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy and maritime sectors.

The cooperation between the Sri Lankan and Norwegian ICT associations over the past two years has demonstrated the potential for profitable business partnerships in the areas of digitalization, entrepreneurship and technology, which can create new jobs and offer new services. This successful cooperation suggests the potential to strengthen business cooperation in other sectors as well.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with Norwegian Foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on an official visit to Norway has met with the business community in Oslo Wednesday.

During the meeting organized by a Sri Lankan and Norwegian businessmen engaged in trade between Sri Lanka and Norway, the Prime Minister focused on how to broaden and systematically maintain the business activities between the two countries.

Drawing attention of the Prime Minister to the problems that have arisen during the trade practices, the Norwegian businessmen discussed solutions that can be taken promptly to resolve the issues and boost the trade.

The Premier noted that Sri Lanka looks to strengthen the relationship between the two countries as the government continues to progress its plans to build international relationships and grow trade and investment.

Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa, MP Kavinda Jayawardena and MP Hesha Vithanage also participated in the discussions.

The Prime Minister also visited the XXL storage complex in Oslo Wednesday and inspected the cutting edge robotics at work. The automated warehouse uses robots to store, package and ship goods to XXL stores and online shoppers.

The robotics functions are run by the high technology company for warehouse solutions Element Logics and the software engineering firm Tiqri.

The automated operation allows quick and efficient storage as well as repacking and reshipping.

The company explained that garments, other products as well as fish, vegetables and fruits could be stored and packaged.

“We have already drawn up preliminary plans for the establishment of such stores for the development of the fisheries sector,” Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Soysa said.

He said the background has been prepared to establish such a robot-technology controlled warehouse in December with the cooperation of the two Norwegian companies.

Sri lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe inspected a warehouse at Oslo in Norway, which is driven by robotics technology. He visited the storage along with a delegation that included Professor Maithree Wickremesinghe, Fisheries Minister Wijith Wijayamuni de Soysa and MPs Kavinda Jayawardene and Hesha Withanage. The XXL storage in Oslo uses robotics to store vegetables, fruits and fish.

PHOTOS – MFA NORWAY

Sri Lanka is a valued partner in Norway. Discussed the importance of continued political & economic reforms in Sri Lanka and our close cooperation in many areas including the UN. Look forward to further strengthening ties said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soreide on twitter.

 

 

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