Sri Lanka held for the very first time Foreign Ministry Level Virtual Bilateral Consultations with the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria on 12 October 2021. Discussions focused on strengthening political, economic, social and cultural ties.
In keeping with the Government policy of further expanding ties with the African Region, closer engagement with Algeria which is the lead economy in North Africa is envisaged. The two sides noted that the total trade last year stood UISD 5.39 million, and Sri Lanka's exports to Algeria amounted to only USD 0.63 million, while Sri Lanka’s imports from Algeria amounted to USD 4.76 million.
As a major exporter of petroleum and LP gas, the trade relations with Algeria have mainly been in the energy sector. However, potential to further increase exports, particularly tea, spices, coconut products and apparel, were explored. A virtual meeting with the Chambers of Commerce of both countries is expected to take this process forward.
Recalling the long standing bilateral relations, the two sides agreed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in a fitting manner next year. Algeria announced that it will host the next NAM Summit in Algiers in 2022 and recalled that both countries are founding members of the Non Aligned Movement and continue to wirk closely at the multilateral level. The two countries expressed keen interest to focus on bilateral cooperation in the environment and climate change, power & energy and tourism sectors. Further strengthening defence and counter-terrorism cooperation were also discussed.
The Sri Lankan Delegation was led by Director General Africa Affairs Dicision of the Foreign Ministry B. Kandeepan, and the Algerian delegation was led by Director General of the Asia Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Boumedien Guennad. The Ambassador of Sri Lanka accredited to Algeria from Cairo, the Ambassador of Algeria accredited to Sri Lanka from New Delhi and senior officials of both Foreign Ministries jointed the virtual consultations.
Foreign Ministry, Colombo, 14 October 2021