The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Woonjin Jeong at a ceremony held in the Foreign Ministry on 08 December 2020, handed over a donation of USD 300,000 worth Real-Time PCR Test Kits to Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.
Addressing the handing over ceremony, Foreign Minister Gunawardena thanked the Republic of Korea for the generous contribution towards the COVID-19 containment efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka and highlighted that the traditional friendship between the two countries has flourished over time into a multifaceted partnership with economic cooperation as a key pillar. Acknowledging the exponential growth achieved by the Republic of Korea in the past decades, Foreign Minister Gunawardena sought the Republic of Korea’s expertise and support towards the development of rural economies and livelihoods in Sri Lanka with a special focus on the areas of aviation, shipping, health, agriculture, science & technology.
Ambassador Woonjin Jeong in his remarks stated that under the “Stay Strong” campaign, Korea and Sri Lanka have strengthened anti-COVID collaboration with each other. While expressing satisfaction at the ongoing development partnership between Sri Lanka and South Korea, the Ambassador invited Korean investors to explore more opportunities in Sri Lanka in key sectors including LNG, renewable energy, infrastructure and digital economy and more Korean tourists to come to Sri Lanka once the COVID-19 related travel restrictions are lifted.
State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasuriya, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, senior officials of the Foreign Ministry and the Embassy of Republic of Korea in Colombo were present at the event.
Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations on 14 November 1977.
08 December 2020
Video Link : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F3k1NaJTZCA
Speech by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, at the Ceremonial handing over of PCR kits donated by the Republic of Korea to mark the 43rd Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.
Hon. Tharaka Balasooriya, State Minister for Regional Co-operation,
H.E. Woonjin Jeong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea and other members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage
Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen
Ayubowan ! Annyeonghaseyo
It is indeed a great pleasure for me to host this event at the Foreign Ministry to mark the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.
Our two countries have been very close culturally for centuries and are joined by the common thread of Buddhism. Following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1977, based on the bedrock of our traditional links, trust, and mutual understanding, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea have been maintaining a cordial and healthy bilateral relationship in all spheres over the last 43 years.
Sri Lanka conveys its warm greetings and highest respect to His Excellency Moon Jae In, President of the Republic of Korea, and to the Government and the people of Korea.
The Republic of Korea is one of our leading development partners. The Official Development Assistance provided through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has immensely contributed towards the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka particularly in the areas which include infrastructure, transport, employment, vocational training, irrigation, and waste disposal.
In view of the expertise of the Republic of Korea in multiple sectors, we anticipate to further expand our relations in other areas which include aviation, shipping, health, agriculture, and science & technology. Also, we believe enhancing parliamentary and provincial level cooperation will further promote people to people exchange between the two countries.
In the last three to four decades, we all have witnessed extraordinary changes in the Republic of Korea. This incomparable economic growth in the Republic of Korea has no doubt brought immense benefits to the people in the world and has invariably created new synergies for the growth of the Asian economies.
Under The National Policy Framework of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’ Sri Lanka has now embarked on a new chapter of social and economic development. We intend to transform our import dependent economy to an export oriented economy, with greater emphasis on livelihood development of people across the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am also particularly pleased to note that the Republic of Korea has been able to successfully control the COVID - 19 outbreak. We all saw how Republic of Korea rapidly controlled transmission by implementing stringent measures with the help of modern technology.
The Government and the people of the Republic of Korea have stood by us and helped us through some of our most difficult times. Our valued relationship has been proven again by the donation of USD 300,000 PCR test kits to Sri Lanka. The equipment indeed is helping to increase the prevailing testing capacity in our country to control the pandemic, which is a vital part in the 10 pillar strategic plan of the Government that has been put in place to control the pandemic.
I take this opportunity, once again to thank the friendly people of the Republic of Korea, for this in-kind contribution to support COVID-19 response efforts in my country. Your Excellency, this goodwill gesture will undoubtedly be remembered and valued forever by the people of Sri Lanka.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, while acknowledging and thanking the government and the people of the Republic of Korea for their constant support and generosity, we look forward to strengthening the partnership between our two nations further, and we hope that the Republic of Korea will walk with us closely in this challenging yet rewarding journey of nation building.