Sri Lanka’s envoy to Malawi, Weera Wardena Sunil Dharmasena De Silva, on Friday afternoon said the common historical backgrounds that his nation shares with Malawi, puts the two nations in a better position to learn from each other, and help one another develop sound economic bases.
De Silva made the remarks after he presented letters of credence on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka to President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
He said, apart from both countries being former British colonies, the challenges that the two nations have encountered in their quest to develop their national economies, are identical, and that Malawi should seize the opportunity to tap knowledge from the way Sri Lanka has set its development structures.
“We have some investments, which have done wonders for us and it is our feeling that if we can help Malawi set up similar investments; it will make a huge difference on the country’s economy. If we can bring fertilizer factory plants, which have a ready market in Europe, then that can do,” he said.
Sri Lanka boasts of a literacy rate of 94%, which is among the best globally, and De Silva said the area of education is one sector which Malawi can explore and benefit from the ties.
“We can engage in students exchange programmes, with a view of helping the country develop capacity in human resources. Education is one area that cannot be left out if a country is to attain rapid development,” said De Silva.
Another envoy who also presented letters of credence on the day was Lt. General Louis Fisher from the Republic of Botswana. He said Malawi and Botswana need to build on the long standing cooperation and relationship for the benefit of the two nations.
“In Botswana we have had so many Malawians that have contributed massively in various sectors like education and health, which is a positive thing. At this point, we hope we can explore other areas like agriculture and tourism, to further entrench our bond; while at the same time developing our nations,” said Fisher.