The three day official visit of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse to the Ukraine ( beginning 30th June, ending 2nd July ) has widened bilateral relations and made way for higher levels of understanding and cooperation in sectors relating to trade, economy, tourism and human resources between the two countries, that until now had only a Treaty and Legal basis of bilateral relations that consisted of just four international treaties.
In the first ever visit of a top level official to the Ukraine, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapkse took with him a delegation that included the Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L Pieris, the Abassador of Sri Lanka accredited to the Ukraine Udayanga Weeratunga, Senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of External Affairs, and also a number of Senior officials representing key institutions in the private sector, dealing with trade, tourism, economic development and investment.
At a private meeting with the Sri Lankan President on Wednesday (30th), before the scheduled Ukraine – Sri Lanka Business Forum, Ukrainian Head of State Viktor Yanukovych had expressed hope that the Sri Lankan Presidents visit would ”open a new page in relations between Ukraine and Sri Lanka”, also expressing Ukraine’s eagerness at offering its cooperation to Sri Lanka – especially in the areas of trade and economy.
Also addressing the media immediately after meeting with President Victor Yanukovich, President Mahinda Rajapakse had said that in addition to enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two states, his visit to the Ukraine would also give the Sri Lankan delegation an opportunity to experience the culture unique to Ukraine as well as make observation of its advanced technological and industrial achievements.
A number of Ukraine-Sri Lanka intergovernmental documents and agreements were later signed between the two Heads of State, among which were a Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation and an agreement to establish a Ukrainian-Sri Lankan Business Council, both of which are expected to create a multitude of new opportunities and develop active cooperation in various field between Sri Lanka and the Ukraine.
Speaking at the Ukraine-Sri Lanka Business Forum that was held later that day (30th) President Mahinda Rajapakse had said that post-war stability and Sri Lanka’s plans for development would give ”much scope for the expansion of economic relations between Sri Lanka and Ukraine”, adding that the Business Forum itself would provide opportunity to exchange information on markets, business climates and other opportunities.
Viktor Yanukovych, at the Business Forum, had assured Sri Lanka that Ukraine was ready to develop mutually beneficial business partnership relations and said that he was sure that by ” joining efforts, both sides will be able to awake interest in each other’s capabilities and potentials”, adding that the main task for the future was further development and a ”deepening of trade and economic cooperation” between Ukraine and Sri Lanka.