PM returns to Sri Lanka following diplomatic visit to Finland

PM returns to Sri Lanka following diplomatic visit to Finland

October 12, 2017   09:39 am

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe returned to Sri Lanka at 1.30am today (12), following his diplomatic visit to Finland. 

The premier visited the Finnish capitol where he convened with high ranking officials from the government of Finland and discussed several bi-lateral agreements to strengthen ties between the two countries. 

Finland and Sri Lanka have expressed interest to enhance cooperation between the countries in various sectors particularly the clean and renewable energy sectors.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Tuesday met his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe in Helsinki and discussed various cooperation issues, said a government press release.

The Prime Ministers issued a Joint Declaration on closer energy cooperation and both the countries wish to promote the development of clean and renewable energies and stress the importance of innovative technologies in climate change mitigation, both nationally and in the international context.

“I trust that with this Joint Declaration new opportunities will be opened for Finnish and Sri Lankan companies to collaborate in the energy sector. We also talked about many other fields where Finland has expertise and technologies to offer to Sri Lanka – digitalisation, education, and health and water technologies,” Sipilä said.

The Prime Ministers highlighted the efforts of their countries to support the use of renewable energy sources.They also emphasized the important role of innovations in achieving national targets and international commitments in mitigation of climate change, enhancing energy efficiency and utilization of clean and renewable energy technologies. 

In addition, the Finnish and Sri Lankan Prime Ministers noted the importance of sustainable, reliable and affordable supply of electricity, as well as a need for the intensified utilization of various waste fractions, e.g. municipal solid waste, for energy generation purposes. 

Given that both Finland and Sri Lanka have excellent potential for the development of renewable energy sources, the two Prime Ministers’ discussed possible opportunities for concrete collaboration in a sustainable, innovative and profitable way. The two Prime Ministers noted that Finland can support Sri Lanka in its effort to acquire suitable technology from Finland to meet its renewable energy production goals and increasing demand.
 
The two Prime Ministers agreed that Finland and Sri Lanka will continue working to identify mutual areas of interest and possible cooperation activities in the areas of (but not limited to): 

(1) Clean and renewable energy in power generation; wind, biomass, hydro, geothermal, wave, municipal, industrial, agro and solid waste 

(2) Smart Power Generation - Flexible and energy efficient technologies in power plants with oil and gas 

(3) Energy storage 

(4) Small and Medium scale LNG terminals 

The Prime Ministers agreed that a concrete showcase pilot project would be initiated in the field of wave energy and the national instruments facilitating the utility scale deployment of near shore wave energy power plants would be utilised as part of the implementation of Sri Lanka’s Energy Plan to foster the use of the country’s vast coastline and immense wave energy resource. 

The Finnish and Sri Lankan Prime Ministers stated that possible forms of cooperation under this Joint Statement may include 

(1) Sharing knowledge, expertise and lessons learned 

(2) Sharing experiences in making polices, regulation and standards in planning, implementation and development of technologies 

(3) Facilitating the identification of joint projects, pilots and partnerships through visits, meetings, workshops, co-creation sessions and site evaluations 

(4) Facilitating establishment of direct contacts and relations between public institutions and private companies, academia and public-private institutions in respective countries 

(5) Exchanging best practices through workshops and study visits for experts
 
(6) Encouraging development of partnerships in the context of multilateral development programs and projects of international Financial Institutions
 
(7) Other forms as may be agreed upon

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