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Sri Lanka government looks beyond current crisis to source export markets

ECONOMYNEXT-The Ministry of Foreign Relations through its Mission network and in collaboration with the Export Development Board (EDB) is in the process of facilitating Sri Lankan exporters at this volatile time period to re-position themselves in the long run.

In a statement, the ministry said that the Missions network had already assisted the EDB to obtain market information as well as address issues relevant to supply-side constraints in our key export sourcing countries. 

“This also includes seeking new opportunities for Sri Lanka for existing products, as well as requirements related to the COVID 19 situation,” the statement said.

Also, the ministry has held consultations over the past 2 days with its Heads of Missions based in 67 cities across the world, to facilitate the wellbeing and safety of Overseas Sri Lankans, while preparing for any exigencies they could have to meet in the coming days.

The Sri Lankan Missions in the Middle East, as well as South East Asia, East Asia, Africa and Southern Europe, which host the largest concentration of Sri Lankan expatriate workers, informed of their efforts to constantly network with Sri Lankans overseas and the community representatives, assisting them in matters concerning emergency passports, visa extensions, and employment contracts, by discussing with the respective local authorities and intervening and seeking clearances, as required.

“The Missions have also been striving to secure visa extensions for students, as well as other residents and those visiting abroad, whose visas are lapsing. This concession was granted for over 15,000 foreigners visiting Sri Lanka until 12  May, due to reasons caused by the pandemic,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the new ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ online Web Portal launched as an interface for all Overseas Sri Lankans to voice their views and concerns to the Ministry and the Missions, by the ministry, has to date seen 45,770 Sri Lankans living abroad register, a bulk of them from the Middle East while 1955 queries have also been directed to the portal which was answered. (Colombo/Apr4/2020)

Imesh Ranasinghe