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NZ and Sri Lanka commit to strengthening relationship

Prime Minister John Key has today announced New Zealand will establish a diplomatic post in Sri Lanka, and welcomed news that Sri Lanka will establish a post in New Zealand.

Mr Key met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Auckland this morning.

“Prime Minister Wickremsinghe’s visit to New Zealand follows my visit to Sri Lanka in February and shows the commitment of both our governments to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.

“Sri Lanka has embarked on a courageous course to rebuild the country after a generation-long civil war, and we are keen to support that process both politically and by growing our strong economic relationship.

“Establishing High Commissions in Wellington and Colombo in the next few years will help support that process.”

Mr Key and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe discussed a wide range of issues including two-way trade and investment, dairy cooperation and peace and security.

Mr Key also announced that New Zealand will work with Sri Lanka to pilot New Zealand’s Farm IQ technology in Sri Lanka, cutting-edge New Zealand digital farm management and monitoring technology.

“New Zealand is committed to helping develop the Sri Lankan dairy industry and this technology will help lift Sri Lankan dairy productivity and profits for its farmers.”

Mr Key also welcomed the progress that Sri Lanka has made in recent months on reducing tariffs on New Zealand dairy products.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is in New Zealand from September 30 –
October 3. He is travelling with several Ministers and a business delegation.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Trade Minister Todd McClay and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy also attended this morning’s meeting.

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