COLOMBO : On behalf of the President Ranil Wickremesinghe the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, I would like to extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Government, and the people of the State of Qatar.
First of all, I would like to congratulate the State of Qatar for hosting the FIFA Worldcup 2022. We believe that this historical achievement is a manifestation of the country’s vision, persistence, hard work, and foresight of Qatar’s leaders, amongst others.
Our relations with the State of Qatar have always been most cordial and friendly since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1976. We have made great strides over the years through cooperation, collaboration, and facilitation between our two countries, especially in the economic and cultural spheres.
It is a well known fact that one of the largest foreign exchange earnings of Sri Lanka, emanate from the migrant workers in the Middle Eastern region. Relationship with the State of Qatar is significant to us as approximately 170,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers are employed in Qatar. I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Government of the State of Qatar for providing employment opportunities and for looking after their welfare. We wish to be a development partner of the progressing State of Qatar by providing professionals for development projects.
Over the last few years, we witnessed a unprecedented and advancement progress in the development sector in Qatar. This remarkable transformation in terms of economic growth and infrastructure development has led Qatar, to be one of the most attractive investment destinations. Sri Lanka considers Qatar as an attractive and lucrative destination to engage in business interactions and we look forward to welcome Qatari investment in Sri Lanka, especially in sectors such as agriculture, maritime, tourism, and aviation infrastructure.
I take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Government of the State of Qatar for their support and solidarity extended to Sri Lanka in the multilateral fora.
As you are aware, currently Sri Lanka is confronting serious economic challenges due to various reasons. I am confident and optimistic that with the able and proven leadership of our President, and also with the assistance and cooperation of our traditional friends such as the State of Qatar, we will be able to overcome the challenges within a short period.
We invite the State of Qatar to be a robust and committed development partner in achieving our development targets. I invite State of Qatar investors to invest in Sri Lanka, by taking the advantage of special fiscal incentives, including reduced corporate taxes offered in Special Economic Zones.
In conclusion, I wish to place on record our deep appreciation for Ambassador Al-Sorour, for your remarkable contribution towards further strengthening and elevating the friendship and cooperation between our countries. I also wish to thank You, Excellency, for organizing this occasion to celebrate the National Day of your dynamic and high advance Country.