Norway wants business with SL, no more peace mediation
Norway is focused on entering Sri Lanka through investment and business opportunities and would support reconciliation efforts but (unlike before) will not have any role in it, the visiting Norwegian foreign minister said on Thursday.Minister Borge Brende told the Business Times that they will have “no role” in the reconciliation efforts with the Sri Lankan government but would remain supportive of it. He made these observations on the sidelines of his meeting with the Sri Lankan business leaders at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Norway has been actively involved in the peace process in Sri Lanka, at one time hosting peace talks in Oslo between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. “I perceive Sri Lanka is built on reconciliation, ethical, good governance and will take a leadership role in South Asia,” Mr. Brende said. On the other hand he noted that they would be involved in partnering with a less confrontational Sri Lanka on the ‘blue economy’ on how to harvest more from the ocean and in the oil and gas sectors.
With Norway said to be a leader in offshore gas and oil exploration, the visiting minister pointed out that there would be Norwegian companies interested in carrying out offshore oil exploration in Sri Lanka.In this regard, he noted that he would also bring a business delegation to Sri Lanka on his next visit to the country to increase the cooperation between the two states.It would be a “missed opportunity” if Norway does not enter into business and investment cooperation with Sri Lanka this time as the country has become a peaceful nation.
Other sectors, the Scandinavian nation is interested in is the offshore fish farming and with the current climate, he noted “it looks much more attractive for an investor.”During discussions with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Mr. Brende had spoken about the future of the country’s economy which he believed needed to engage in modernization and grab more investments that could tap into the island’s rich natural resource base and the skilled people.He noted that Sri Lanka’s ranking in terms of health and education has led it to earn high scores which was considered “impressive.”