Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena urged the new Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to assist Sri Lanka’s efforts to face the economic and fuel crisis.
Ambassador Khalid bin Hamoud Nasser Aldasam Alkahtani, who present his credentials recently said his main task would be to increase job opportunities in his country for skilled Sri Lankan workers. The Ambassador who called on the Prime Minister on Friday (Sept 16) said within a short period of time, the number of Sri Lankan skilled and semi-skilled workforce in Saudi Arabia could be increased to 400,000 from the present 180,000. “I am fond of Sri Lanka and I will do my best to support your country,” he assured.
The Prime Minister said the newly introduced relaxed visa regulations and investment facilitation schemes of Board of Investment will help to attract more Saudi investors to Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister said Saudi Arabia has the opportunities to invest in energy, fisheries and agricultural sectors. He thanked for the support and assistance provided to Sri Lanka under renewed assistance programmes of the Saudi Development Fund as well as to help early recovery from current economic problems.
They also discussed the plans for tourism promotion and recommencing of Saudi Airlines’ flights to Sri Lanka.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake and Naqeeb Mowlana of Saudi Sri Lanka Friendship Association were also present during the meeting.