By Zahara Zuhair
To further strengthen the friendship between the two nation’s Czech Republic and Sri Lanka, the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic was declared open at Park Street, Colombo- 2, this week.
To commemorate the opening, a reception was hosted at the Galle Face Hotel Colombo with the participation of a large number of delegates.
Addressing the ceremony, the Ambassador Czech Republic Milan Hovorka, said that the new Honorary Consulate will take the bilateral partnership between the two countries to even a higher level which had developed over the time as the both countries enjoy a long standing historical and bilateral partnership.
“We have been waiting for this moment for sometime, but we have been waiting for the right moment to have this opportunity,” he said.
Noting that this is his third visit to Sri Lanka since he started functioning from New Delhi, he said that this time he came with a high calibre business delegation, with around 80 companies looking for trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
The ambassador expressed his delight over European Union lifting its ban on import of local fish products and was confident that Sri Lanka would have another decision taken by the European Union authorities very soon to regain the GSP plus status.
He added that he is also pleased to see the foreign delegations queuing to be in Sri Lanka to show their commitment and readiness to be a part of the country’s objectives and decisions.
Newly appointed Honorary Consul Dr. Lohitha Samarawickrema said that Sri Lanka has been well identified and recognised by the then Czechoslovakia for its access to international maritime routes, and then reinstated diplomatic ties between the two countries again in1993 in the form of Czech Republic.
“Ever since ensuring the goodwill of the two nation, there have been delegates to and from Czech Republic and Sri Lanka delivered and supported each other in many ways. Specially being a country with very advanced technology it evidently supported our humanitarian mission in eradicating terrorism in Sri Lanka providing with lots of military equipments,” he said.
“We Sri Lanka have exchanged two elephants in return namely Tamara and Janita few years ago and second to none it proved Sri Lanka’s capability in reproduction as it gave birth to a wonderful product (baby elephant) recently in Czech Republic,” he added.
Talking about tourism he said that tourism being the main attraction for global traveller, both the nation’s have enough of historic sites to exchange with their interested travellers.
He noted that Czech Republic is one of the highly industrialised nation in European Union which produces quality products engineering goods and services as Sri Lanka can benefit from it if the right sceneries are established in appropriate fields.
“I’m quite sure and confident the visiting Czech Republic delegates most from the investor sector will find the right working partner through the appropriate chambers, to do the necessary follow up to make sure it would be a successful one,” he further added.
The Czech Republic is a nation state in central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast which joined European Union in 2004.