The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia commemorated the 73rd anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence with a reception held at the Hyatt Regency in Addis Ababa on 04 February, 2021. The event was attended by a large gathering of Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, Ethiopian Government officials, Ethiopian business community, members of the Sri Lankan community and friends of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia.
The event commenced with the playing of the national anthems of Sri Lanka and Ethiopia followed by the observation of two minutes silence in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
Addressing the audience, Ambassador Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, highlighted some of Sri Lanka’s achievements during the last 73 years and quoted excerpts from the Independence Day message of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, highlighting the forward vision of the government to overcome contemporary challenges.
Highlighting the increased trade and investment ties between Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, Ambassador Gunaratna stated that pioneer Sri Lankan investments in the garments sector in Ethiopia, during the last five years, have re-kindled a trading relationship that had existed between the Kingdom of Aksum in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka in the 6th Century A.D. He observed that today Sri Lanka’s investments in Ethiopia, amount to around USD 15 million and bilateral trade has grown by around 15 times from US$ 2.6 million in 2015 to almost US$ 40 million, with bilateral trade volumes doubling in 2020 from US$ 19 million in 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director General of the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, Asfaw Molalign, read out a message on behalf of State Minister for Economic Diplomacy & Diaspora Affairs, Tsion Teklu. The State Minister conveyed the wishes of the Government and the people of Ethiopia to the people of Sri Lanka for the 73rd anniversary of independence. She stated that Ethiopia and Sri Lanka shared a similar vision of the world and have cooperated together in international forums including the Non Aligned Movement.
She conveyed her satisfaction at the increased trade and investment relationship in recent times and stated the interest of the Ethiopian government to work closely with the Sri Lankan Embassy in further expanding the relationship.
The Guest of Honour, Lelise Neme, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission launched the Sri Lanka Embassy website at the invitation of Ambassador Gunaratna. The recently developed website along with the Twitter and Facebook accounts, will enable the Embassy to reach out more effectively to its stakeholders.
The website can be accessed at www.slembassyethiopia.lk
The event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony and a reception with Sri Lankan milk rice, traditional food, sweetmeats and Ceylon tea.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
08 Feb 2021