A memorandum of understanding between the Primary Industries Ministry and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives of Thailand was signed yesterday at a ceremony held at the ministry auditorium in Battaramulla in the presence minister Daya Gamage and Chulamanee Chartsuwan, the Thai Ambassador for Sri Lanka.
While secretary to the Primary Industries Ministry Bandula Wickremaarchchi signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry, Apirom Sukprasert, signed on behalf of the Thailand’s bank as its chairman.
In his address at the ceremony, minister Daya Gamage underscored the importance of the signing agreement as it served well for both countries in the time to come.
“ I must commend Thailand for adopting right policies, creating right institutions and assembling the educated resources to realize the country’s development goals”, he said.
The Minister went onto say that the target of his Ministry was to double the agriculture based products and increase the revenue earned by the year 2020 and keep on doubling the exports every five years.
“One May say it is a very difficult and tough task but I am very confident that we can make it. And we are determined to accomplish it” the Minister emphasized.
Both Thailand and Sri Lanka continue to support each with international political and trade fields. There has been very steady increase in bilateral trade and ties between our countries have grown rapidly, said the Minister.
“For third world countries such as ours, primary industries are of utmost importance. A country should build her economic backbone by developing its primary industries at scale and as a gradual progression of that development, secondary sector which produces and manufactures goods, and the tertiary sector which provides services, will be easier to develop. This is the gradual and organic process of leading a third world country to be a first world country with a strong economic backbone.”
“By entering into MoU we expect to promote the exchange of information and experiences in the areas of Agriculture, Agriculture Cooperatives, Agriculture processing industries, micro finance and establishing credit lines to support import and export businesses related to primary industries. I strongly believe that this MOU is a venture that would help achieve this target.”
“It is my hope and ardent desire that this MoU signed with the best intentions, will be a strong extension of the economic and geopolitical partnership between Sri Lanka and Thailand”, observed Minister Gamage.
Thai ambassador Chartsuwan speaking on the occasion recalled the historical relationship both countries enjoyed for centuries, sharing religious and cultural values, and said the MoU signed would expand that relationship to new heights.
“I welcome the signing of the MoU and will look forward to their implementation of the projects mentioned therein for the benefit of both countries”, she added.
Bank chairman Sukprasert said that he was much pleased to be present and be a part of the event of historical significance.
“According to our Government policy we promote our local economy worthy of the farmer. We also recognize the excellent relationship between the two countries”, he added.