Minister Amunugama Meets Indian Finance Minister for Bilateral Discussions

Minister discusses impact of oil price surge with Finance Ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Sarath Amunugama, had bilateral meetings with the Finance Ministers of India, Saudi Arabia and Iran on the sidelines of the 2004 Annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank.

Discussions with Finance Minister Chidambaram of India focused on the growing economic ties between the two countries in the context of the existing Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement and the envisaged Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Minister Amunugama extended a special appreciation to the Indian Finance Minister for the Lines of Credit provided by India. The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the increasingly robust trade and tourism links between the two countries and explored means of strengthening these further.

Minister Amunugama at bilateral discussions with Finance Minister Chidambaram of India (across table)

Minister Amunugama in discussions with Finance Minister Al-Assaf of Saudi Arabia

Minister Amunugama also met Hon. Al-Assaf, Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia, and H.E. Dr. Seyed Safdar Hosseini Kozovaki, Minister of Finance of Iran, and the discussions centered on Sri Lanka’s existing strong relations with these two countries and the need to improve bilateral trade relations through enhancing ties between the chambers of commerce and exchange of business delegations between each of the countries. The recent surge in oil prices and its debilitating impact on non-oil producing countries such as Sri Lanka and the economic difficulties faced by them, were also discussed.

The Finance Minister’s delegation to these meetings included H.E. Mr. Devinda R. Subasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Sunil Mendis, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sumith Abeysinghe, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ranee Jayamaha, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. P.D. Rodrigo, Appointed Member, Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. R.A. Jayatissa, Assistant to the Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Uthum Herat, Alternate Executive Director, International Monetary Fund and Dr. H.N. Thenuwara, Director of Economic Research, Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

06 October 2004

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