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Sri Lanka Seeks to Benefit from Saudi Mining Experience

Sri Lanka Seeks to Benefit from Saudi Mining Experience

Sunday, 29 January, 2023 - 09:15
An archive photo showing the path of locomotives transporting mineral materials from the Saudi city of Jubail (Getty Images) - Naseer Ahmed, Sri Lankan Minister of Environment.

Sri Lanka’s Environment Minister Naseer Ahmed emphasized the presence of prospects for cooperation between Colombo and Riyadh in various fields, especially the mining sector.

Looking forward to strengthening cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the mining sector, Ahmed said his country could benefit from the Kingdom’s experiences in developing the mineral industry and its laws and regulations.

Ahmed urged Saudis to invest in Sri Lanka’s mining sector and establish exploration projects there.

The minister noted that his country had begun a new era in economic development and growth.

Sri Lanka is on its way to overcoming the challenges that resulted in economic collapse and financial hardship, affirmed Ahmed.

“Despite the current circumstances, great efforts are being made to save the Sri Lankan economy, as the national economy is basically struggling to contain the debt trap and the shortage of foreign currency,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

In Sri Lanka, the mining sector has been named as one of the most viable fields for potential foreign investment.

“Sri Lanka faced many crises in the past, but we have recovered,” said Ahmed.

“President Ranil Wickremesinghe is leading the political leadership in recovery from the economic crisis.”

“We are counting on our closest friends like India and China in this process, and we are confident that other countries and lending agencies will also follow suit,” asserted Ahmed.

Ahmed confirmed that the Future Minerals Forum, which concluded recently in Riyadh, produced stimulating results for the economy and the mining sector.

The minister said the Forum was the fruit of labor of Saudi Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar AlKhorayef and the Saudi government.

“It (the Forum) brought the world’s mining community together on one platform, and their deliberations were very useful, relevant and thought-provoking,” affirmed Ahmed.

“The results of the Forum are very encouraging,” added Ahmed, noting that many partnerships and joint venture opportunities were made possible.

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