Sunday, December 13, 2009

New envoy assures to look after interests of Lankans in Saudi


Mohammed Rasooldeen

The new Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Kingdom said his mission in Riyadh was to serve all Sri Lankans in the Kingdom and look after their interests in Saudi Arabia and promote bilateral relations between the island and the Kingdom.

Ambassador Ahmed Aflel Jawad , who arrived in the Saudi capital last week told the Daily News that his mission is to work for the welfare of the 500,000 Sri Lankan workers in the Kingdom and strengthen the two-way relations between the two countries in trade, political and cultural fields.

Saudi-Lanka ties

* 75 percent of Lanka's exports to Kingdom tea

*Lanka most attractive investment zone in Asia

* Increase in Saudi tourists to Sri Lanka

To serve his countrymen in the Kingdom, Jawad said he will coordinate his activities with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and other related agencies in the Kingdom.

In the field of trade between the two countries, he observed that 75 percent of the island's exports to the Kingdom is tea and the balance include some 15 products from Sri Lanka . The envoy said there are plenty of other non-traditional exports that could find easy access to the Kingdom's market.

He stressed that he would also make all efforts to encourage foreign direct investments from the Kingdom since the island could offer a wide range of opportunities for Saudi investors coming to Sri Lanka .

" Sri Lanka is the most attractive investment zone in Asia ," Jawad said.

"I am happy to note that there is a 101 percent increase among the Saudi tourists to Sri Lanka with the end of the ethnic conflict on May 19", he noted, adding that the hill resorts have become popular destinations among the Saudis visiting the island.

The ambassador inaugurated the Charity Fair organized by the Sri Lankan Expatriates Society in Riyadh Thursday. The proceeds of the fair will be diverted to the Free Medical Clinic managed by the society.

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