In facilitating economic and cultural exchange between Sri Lanka and Korea several projects are currently underway in identified key areas of development.
Korea will support Sri Lanka’s development drive through official development assistance (ODA) in the areas of material and financial support, training, knowledge sharing and consulting, capacity building and infrastructure development.
The ODA project of Korea is not just a financial assistance, but an ongoing cooperation in the fields of culture,education and training, Embassy of Republic of Korea Second Secretary Jeong Dongik told Business.
Korea is one of the foremost countries in the renewable energy sector. It has made renewable energy investing a priority in Sri Lanka and will be looking forward for further investment in the sector, he said.
Sri Lankan government announced that it will take strong measures to increase renewable energy in power generation by 10 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.The country’s power requirement is met by 40 percent hydro electricity while the balance 60 percent is met by thermal energy.
Official development assistance has provided US $ 67 million making Korea the third largest development partner.
A 10 million dollar grant under the KOICA has also been provided. Under ODA, Korea conducts various projects in Sri Lanka in cooperation with their local partners which focuses on the objectives of promoting investment, trade and joint venture between Sri Lanka and Korea. The country looks forward for future support in its various development activities.
“We encourage more joint ventures between Sri Lanka and Korea, exchange
information on trade and investment, conduct joint meetings with Korean business organizations in Sri Lanka and Korea.
There is much potential to engaged in trade, tourism or services with Korea or engaged in joint ventures with Korean organizations in promoting trade, tourism, services or joint ventures with Korean organizations,” he said.
Trade and investments by Korea include highway, refinery, solar power plant, LNG terminal where US $ 400 to 500 million investments been made so far with intention to increase the volume in future.
There has been a noticeable growth in the number of Sri Lankans employed in Korea. There are 25,000 Sri Lankans working at present and this year there will be more opportunities for them.
The quota to be the largest among 15 countries and the workers enjoy same facilities and wages as the Koreans.
The government is in the process of including the Korean language as a foreign language subject in year 9 to 13 school syllabus to facilitate prospective Sri Lankan job seekers.