February 24, 2016 12:16 pm
Prime Minister John Key today said that Sri Lanka is seen as a real “shining light” in the Asian region from New Zealand’s point of view and that his country would like to build a greater presence in Colombo.
Key, who arrived in Sri Lanka last night for a state visit, was speaking at the Presidential Secretariat after being welcomed by President Maithripala Sirisena and following the singing of bilateral agreements between the two countries.
He stated that the Sri Lankan President is dealing very affectively with challenging issues of reconciliation and previous issues of corruption.
Congratulating the President on the leadership shown, the New Zealand Premier said that these are always challenging issues for any leader and wished him the very best as he undertakes this important work.
“From New Zealand’s point of view we see Sri Lanka as a real shining light in the Asian region. We can see the economic reform programme that you are undertaking and we see the enormous opportunities for your 21 million people and also for greater opportunities of engagement between New Zealand and Sri Lanka,” he said.
Key said that Sri Lanka is an increasingly wealthy country which is developing more and more middle-income consumers providing greater opportunities for the people.
“I think over time New Zealand would like to build a greater presence here in Sri Lanka.” We see real opportunities and we see the greater capacity for our two countries to work closer together, he said. “And so there is much for us to explore.”