Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Trine Jøranli Eskedal called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday at Temple Trees.

She congratulated Prime Minister Rajapaksa on winning the parliamentary election and commended the well-organized election, held in a peaceful manner with respect for Covid-19 guidelines. She also noted that Sri Lanka has had great success in preventing the spread of Covid-19 with early and rapid mobilization.

Ambassador Eskedal stated that Norway is looking forward to working with the new government, and appreciate the good bilateral relationship and long-term partnership with Sri Lanka. She underscored that the two countries have a number of areas of common interest, such as sustainable ocean economies, private sector cooperation, and development. She also highlighted the potential for further developing the commercial relations between the two countries, as Norwegian investors are especially interested ICT, renewable energy, solar, wind and hydropower, as well as the maritime sector.

The ambassador stated that from 2013 to 2019, USD 2.3 million has been disbursed to the Sri Lankan fisheries sector, and that in September, Norway expects to sign a new agreement with Sri Lanka on the development of fisheries management tools.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa and Ambassador Eskedal discussed the economic impact of Covid-19 too. Ambassador Eskedal said that in April this year, Norway took the initiative for a UN multi-donor trust fund on Covid-19 to assist countries in need to tackle the long-term socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Sri Lanka has received USD 1 million from this fund so far.

She also pointed out that with Covid-19, there is a need to strike the right balance between the national security and individual freedoms, and expressed good wishes for the Prime Minister and the new government to use the clear mandate they have received to provide better lives and an inclusive society for all Sri Lankan people.