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Sunday, 9 June 2013





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Thailand mulls major investments on fisheries

Restoration of peace has created a conducive environment for foreign investment. The Government of Thailand is ready to help Sri Lanka on its ongoing development projects. The country has witnessed a major development in a period of less than four years, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand Yukol Limlamthong said.

Minister Dr. Senaratne at Mahachai Fish Market during the inspection tour.

The Deputy Prime Minister said this to the Sri Lankan delegation led by Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne in a bilateral discussion held at Royal Princes Hotel in Bangkok during his recent visit to Thailand.

The Sri Lankan delegation to Thailand consisted of Ambassador of Sri Lanka General Shantha Kottegoda in Bangkok, NARA Chairman Dr. S.G. Samarasundera, Fisheries Ministry Media Spokesman Narendra Rajapaksa and Harsha Kumara Nawaratna.

Deputy Prime Minister Limlamthong also stressed the delegation the necessity of formulating a perfect time schedule when the major development projects are implemented. In response, Minister Senaratne said the fisheries sectors of the two countries should collaborate to achieve the development goals.

The Minister also underlined the involvement of Thailand to modernise the fisheries sector of Sri Lanka, Ministry spokesman D.S. Narendra Rajapaksa who accompanied the Minister told the Sunday Observer.

"A long time plan should be drafted to boost the fishery industry of the two countries. Thailand Government will provide technical assistance to identify the fish breeding spots along our territorial waters.

Thailand is also ready to extend its cooperation to rehabilitate prawn farms while providing technical assistance to store fish without affecting the hygiene and quality", Fisheries Minister Dr. Senaratne who led the delegation to Thailand told the Sunday Observer.

Besides, the Minister said that Thailand will help Sri Lanka to promote fresh water prawn farming and also agreed to train the aquatic resources research officers.

The Minister said that moves are under way to promote the ornamental fish farming in Sri Lanka with the technical assistance from Thailand Fisheries Ministry.

Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Yukol Limlamthong and Minister Senaratne in discussion.

Minister Senaratne said that both Thailand and Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministries will focus attention on the feasibility of starting joint ventures.

Both Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Sri Lankan Minister discussed fish export, developing fresh water fishery industry and starting community based prawn farms in Hambantota, the Ministry spokesman said.

The first meeting of Thai-Sri Lanka Technical and Economic Cooperation Committee was held recently and the second meeting will be held soon, he said.

Minister Senaratne explained to the Thailand Deputy Prime Minister that restoration of peace in the North and the East have a positive impact on the national economy and there is a sharp increase in fish production, he said. Minister Senaratne also highlighted that the Sri Lanka Government, within its capacity has taken every possible step to safeguard the privileges of fishing folk.

The facilities of fisheries harbours, jetties and the fishing ports have been improved and certain harbours to international standard.

The Minister said he brought to the attention of Mr. Limlamthong, that the Fisheries Ministry has taken steps to introduce Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).

The VMS will help fishermen identify fish breeding spots and prevent from going missing. The assistance from Thailand will be a boon for the development of the industry.

Minister Senaratne said the Deputy Prime Minister Limlamthong expressed satisfaction over the development taking place in the fisheries sector of Sri Lanka.

"If Thailand and Sri Lanka collaborate the two countries could become the giant in the fisheries industry in the Asia.

Thailand will have to play a major role in the technical part," the Minister said. Minister Senaratne said the Director General of Thailand Fisheries Department Jantrarotai also expressed his consent to collaborate with Sri Lanka. "As Sri Lanka and Thailand are situated in the Asian continent, Thailand is bound to help Sri Lanka to improve its fisheries industry. We will provide all possible assistance to improve the fisheries industry of Sri Lanka and also hope to invest in this industry.

A Thailand delegation is expected in Sri Lanka soon to study the possibilities to invest in Sri Lanka", Minister Senaratne said.

The Minister said that TMC Chairman told him that there is a favourable atmosphere in the two countries for foreign investments.

There are adequate manpower in Sri Lanka to be supplied to industrial sector. Elimination of terrorism was a remarkable achievement by the Government of Sri Lanka and it has led to the inflow of a large number of foreign investments towards your country.

TUMC use 60,000 metric tons of fish in its production process per day and exports its fish products to more than 100 countries in the world. Minister Senaratne said that he brought to the attention of TUMC Chairman that after the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka, the contribution of fishermen in the North and East increased considerably and national fish production exceeded 480,000 metric tons.

The Minister said that he highlighted the TUMC Chairman that Sri Lankans consume nearly 124,000 metric tons of fish per day.

Four salmon plants are in operation and have the capacity of producing nearly 35,000 salmon tins per day. There is a shortage of 90,000 salmon tins in the local market. We will need a large plant to fulfill the excess demand prevailing in the market and requested him to start a large scale salmon plant in Sri Lanka.

The Minister promised him that all infrastructure facilities will be provided if they are willing to invest on salmon industry in Sri Lanka.

The Minister said that TUMC Chairman promised him that he would consider to set up a large scale salmon plant in Sri Lanka after having a thorough study. He also hopes to hold discussions with him in this regard.

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