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Friday, 8th February 2019
Uganda's High Commissioner based in New Delhi, Ms Grace Akello, was one of 13 envoys who on 1st February, 2019 presented credentials to the President of Sri Lanka, HE Mr Maithripala Sirisena.  After presenting her credentials, Akello had an opportunity to talk to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Tilak Marapana. The latter recalled his visit to Uganda in April last year and reminded the newly accredited High Commissioner of the need to follow up on mutually beneficial matters raised during that visit.  

In her maiden discussions with the Director General for Africa at the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Akello emphasized the primacy of commercial diplomacy for her tenure in Sri Lanka. She explained that all Ugandan Missions abroad had commercial / economic diplomacy as top priority. She would therefore be interested in engaging with Sri Lankan Chambers of Commerce, SMEs, Cooperatives as well as with the country's trade, manufacturing and industry agencies. She outlined Uganda's priority investment areas for which she would be attracting investors as being: agriculture and agro-processing; energy including renewable energy; infrastructure including special infrastructure for the upcoming oil industry, especially roads for the oil corridor; minerals and mineral beneficiation; oil and tourism. These priorities she said would determine the nature of her Missionís work in Sri Lanka. The envoy underlined the mutually beneficial fruits of Sri Lankan investments in Uganda. She said that her country offered great marketing prospects for goods produced in Uganda due to access to domestic, East African, COMESA, AGOA, EU as well as markets in countries such as China in Asia.

The Director General for Africa, Ms Himalee Arunatilaka, warmly welcomed the newly accredited High Commissioner. She expressed her country's interest in building closer ties with Uganda in all areas of mutually beneficial interests. She recalled the on-going collaboration and reminded the envoy of outstanding Memoranda of Understanding which would be the basis for further enhanced cooperation between the two friendly countries.