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Sri Lanka President in Belarus on a visit

MINSK, 26 August (BelTA) – President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Belarus on an official three-day visit on 25 August, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus.

It is the first visit for a high-level Sri Lankan delegation to Belarus. An eventful program has been developed for the guests. The delegation of Sri Lanka will hold a number of meetings, visit the Minsk Automobile Plant – Management Holding Company BelavtoMAZ as well as the cultural facilities of the Belarusian capital.

Minsk is due to host a Belarusian-Sri Lankan business forum and a tourism forum. The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater will host an evening of Sri Lanka in Belarus.

Belarus and Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations in 2000. Seeking wider trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, a delegation of Belarusian businessmen paid a visit to Sri Lanka in late April. The parties are mulling the organization of companies in Sri Lanka to assemble Belarusian equipment. The Sri Lankan side also shows interest in developing sci-tech cooperation with Belarus. Today there are 262 Sri Lankan students in Belarus. Of them 185 study in Vitebsk State Medical University.

Sri Lanka is a promising partner for Belarus in Southeast Asia. The country has been rapidly developing. In 2012 the country's GDP totaled 6.4%. According to the Asian Development Bank, the country’s economic growth will reach 6.8% in 2013 and 7.2% in 2014. The major factors that promote the development of the Sri Lankan economy are the industrial growth and an inflow of investments in almost every industry of the country.