Interview of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Daily News Sri Lankan newspaper was published at the website of the Foreign Ministry.
As Lavrov noted, “The relations between our states have always been intrinsically valuable and independent from international developments. The only thing to have undergone major changes over the past 25-30 years is probably the model of our trade and economic cooperation: the leading role has shifted from the public sector to the private sector, primarily due to the market transformations in the national economy.”
According to the Minister, “In recent years, the Sri Lankan-Russian turnover has been floating around $400 mio. It clearly does not reflect the existing potential. The target is increasing the turnover to $700 mio. In this respect, the Sri Lankan-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation is instrumental. It is its prerogative to elaborate concrete measures. One of such measures could be diversifying the Sri Lankan export. It is dominated by just two items, tea and textile, accounting for about 90% of the country’s trade. Russia is willing to offer Sri Lanka the products of its domestic industries, particularly the aircraft industry. Collaboration in the energy sector, as well as cooperation in agriculture and in the introduction of advanced information and communication technologies look quite promising. Tourism remains another important area of joint action, since Sri Lanka has become a popular tourist destination among Russians.”