Peace continues to attract economic development in Sri Lanka

In a further indication that the peaceful environment in Sri Lanka is winning new friends, a ground breaking deal was done with international computer software giant Microsoft today.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Minister for Economic Reform, Science & Technology, Hon. Milinda Moragoda for the Government and President, Microsoft Asia Pacific, Mr. Sanjay Mirchandani of Microsoft to further Sri Lanka's efforts to transform itself into a Information Economy and extend the benefits of the digital world to many more of its citizens, particularly in education.

The Memorandum of Understanding committed Microsoft to a substantial presence in Sri Lanka and intends to contribute to the social and economic development of the country. They will be making the world standard ‘Windows’ software available in both the Singhalese and Tamil languages under the Microsoft Language Interface Program. They have also agreed to develop local Information Technology (IT) skills competence for students, teachers and government employees. This will greatly enhance the chances of future jobs for many of our youth.

In a further show of support Microsoft will work with the newly formed ICT Agency (ICTA) to establish a State of Art Innovation Centre in order to deliver Strategic E-Government projects.

Microsoft is a committed company in running training programmes and as part of the MOU they have also agreed to help the Government in running training programmes for school teachers as well as building specific curricula for schools and universities.

With the new Intellectual Properties Act about to come into force Microsoft will also help the Government to run seminars and education campaigns on IPR issues and enforcement in cooperation with other IT interests in Sri Lanka.

Minister Milinda Moragoda hailed the signing of the MOU as a significant advance for the country in its progress towards widespread Information Technology literacy. He said “Microsoft is a worldwide technology leader with branches all over the world. That they should want to come to Sri Lanka at this time is recognition that the country is accelerating out of the problems of the past few years. With the Permanent Ceasefire Agreement continuing to hold and the economy picking up almost daily this agreement is a further tremendous boost to the creation of jobs and the future prosperity of the country. I might also add that where Microsoft goes today many others tend to follow tomorrow.”

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

05 November 2003


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