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Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout to visit Sri Lanka

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout to visit Sri Lanka
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
 H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout to visit Sri Lanka  

Mr. Jan Kohout official visit to Sri Lanka on November 6-7, 2013

After meeting his counterpart Minister of
External Affairs of Sri Lanka Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris in New York in September
2013, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout will be visiting Sri Lanka on November 6-7,
2013
during the regional visit to South Asia in order to deepen the
bilateral dialogue and support the business cooperation.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech
Republic H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout will be visiting Sri Lanka accompanied by the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic H.E.
Mr. Jiri Balvin, Deputy Minister of Environment H.E. Mr. Tomas Tesar,
representatives of Czech Senate, powerful business delegation, representatives
of the Czech film industry, Prague Zoo and journalists from Czech Public TV and
Czech Public Radio.

On the agenda
of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout are
meetings with various Sri Lankan ministers and officials with whom he will
discuss aspects of future bilateral cooperation. Primarily, H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout
will meet Minister of External Affairs Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, who visited the Czech Republic
in March 2011. Both Ministers intend to establish the regular political
dialogue on the highest level, which would be vital for further enhancing
mutual cooperation in various fields. Czech delegation will further meet
Minister of Economic Development Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Environment
Hon. Sushil Premajayantha, Minister of Petroleum Industries Hon. A.P. Yapa,
Minister of Energy Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Minister of Sugar Industry
L.P.J. Senewiratne. H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout is also supposed to meet Hon. Mahinda
Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, and Hon. Dissanayake Mudiyanselage
Jayaratne, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

There will be included over 20 companies in H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout’s delegation,
representing the sectors of energy and renewable energy, engineering, sugar
industry, civil aviation, banking or real estates. The „Czech – Sri Lankan Business Forum“, inaugurated jointly by
Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Jan Kohout and Minister of Industry and
Trade of Sri Lanka Hon. Abdul R. Bathiudeen, will take place in the premises of
National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka on November 6. During the Business
Forum, Memorandum of Understanding between
the Czech Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka

will be signed, enabling exchange on business opportunities in both countries.
Following the successful exchange of animals in autumn 2012, when Government of Sri Lanka
generously gifted to the Czech
Republic a pair of elephants in the exchange
of other rare animals. The Czech
Republic would like
to continue in this mutually enriching cooperation. In this regard, the
Memorandum of Understanding on the exchange of rare species of animals will be
signed between the Prague Zoo and Department of Zoological Gardens of Sri
Lanka.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations
between the Czech Republic and Sri Lanka in 1957, both countries
are craving for continuous improvement of our ties in all possible aspects. According
H.E. Mr. Miloslav Stasek, the Ambassador of the Czech
Republic accredited to Sri Lanka, the
Czech Government steadily supported Sri Lanka Government in difficult time of
civil war. The Czech government has also provided long-term development
assistance to Sri Lanka,
focused primarily on environmental protection. After the end of the civil war
in 2009, the new era of relations is opening up for our two countries, he said.
Huge impetus for bilateral relations came from
the visit of Minister of External Affairs Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris to the Czech Republic
in the spring 2011 when the Agreement on Protection of Investment had been
signed. Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Mr. Martin Colourer visited Sri Lanka in
October 2011. The milestone in our mutual relations was the visit of Minister
of Economic Development of Sri Lanka Hon. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa to the Czech Republic
in March 2013, which provided an extraordinary political momentum to the joint
exploration of new areas of mutual cooperation.
Since 2002, there has been a continuous
growth in mutual trade with only
minor deviations, over the last 10 years it has increased more than nine-fold.
In 2012, two ways trade was ramping up with 43 million USD import from Sri Lanka (74 % garments, the rest mainly with
agricultural products) and 14.7 million USD export from the Czech Republic
(mainly rubber articles, mechanical appliances)
The Czech
Republic sincerely welcomes the recent
positive economic developments in Sri Lanka,
in particular regarding infrastructure development and fiscal policy. Czech
companies have a special interest in cooperation with Sri Lanka in
areas such as infrastructure, energy, water and environment protection, food
processing, sugar industry, leisure, recreation and hospitality or higher
education. 
The Czech
Republic is looking for every
opportunity to improve our relations with Sri Lanka. Therefore, Sri Lanka is
among 15 countries that can apply for Czech Republic/UNESCO scholarship in the academic year
2014/2015.
Sri Lanka is also among the countries to which the Government
of the Czech Republic
will provide developmental aid in
2014 under the umbrella of so-called “Small Development Project”, aimed at
positive change in Sri Lanka.
In the past, the Czech
Republic under this
scheme financed the project in water management and vocational training.
6,000 Czech tourists
visited Sri Lanka in 2012,
with this number growing every year as Czechs gradually start preferring Sri Lanka for
their holidays instead of traditional locations in Mediterranean region. 

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