Minister of Foreign Affairs, (FM) Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday firmly assured that he will get all Sri Lankan missions overseas to promote investments in tourism, foreign employment, tea and rubber exports and other FDIs.
“Sri Lanka’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners will have additional responsibilities from now onwards without merely performing protocol obligations,” he told Daily News Business.“The mandate of the Foreign Ministry was to negotiate with the passage of time which we will do and go forward,” he said.He also said that he was planning to reorient the Foreign Ministry to focus on revenue earning areas. Most of these areas come under the Foreign Ministry such as Tourism , Foreign Employment, Tea and Rubber, and also other FDIs which have to be promoted by us. Our primary duty was to ensure that these revenue flows continue to nourish the country and that was my strategy, he remarked.
He also firmly assured that there was no change in the context of foreign aid and foreign loans along with bilateral and multilateral business which were government to government transactions and not ones which were given to individuals or separate political parties.“These Government to Government transactions are intact and they will not retract as we have not changed our policies or our attitudes,” the Minister firmly assured.
Minister Dr. Amunugama, himself independent Sri Lanka’s 16th Finance Minister in the second President Chandrika Kumaratunga Cabinet and having held Business and Economic portfolios related to business as Minister of Investment Promotion, International Monetary Cooperation in the Mahinda Rajapaksa Cabinet and others said that he would use all his experience and contacts to leverage international investments and aid promotion as well.