The High Commissioner of New Zealand to Sri Lanka Michael Appleton paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris at the Foreign Ministry on 29 September 2021.
High Commissioner Appleton congratulated Prof. Peiris for his appointment as the Foreign Minister and expressed commitment to work closely with him in the future to enhance the partnership between the two countries to further heights. He mentioned that New Zealand has partnered with Sri Lanka in several fields, especially in the dairy and agricultural sectors, and it is high time now for both countries to identify new areas of cooperation in a spirit of friendship.
Prof. Peiris, while recalling the mutually beneficial partnership between Sri Lanka and New Zealand expressed his confidence that the opening up of the resident New Zealand High Commission in Colombo would immensely contribute to the further advancement of bilateral engagements between the two countries.
Noting Sri Lanka as one of the oldest countries that enjoy the universal adult franchise, Prof. Peiris explained the ongoing electoral reform process in Sri Lanka intending to expand the democratic representation in the Parliament and other legislative councils. Underlining the positive nature of the current electoral system in New Zealand, Minister informed that Sri Lanka wishes to learn from the electoral system in New Zealand and extract elements that are capable of adaptation to the domestic system. Prof. Peiris further informed that the government is very keen on reviving the domestic dairy industry given its wider impact on the farming community and consumers in the country and sought to continue the partnership with the New Zealand side to this effect. Collaboration in several other spheres including counterterrorism, trade, investment, and tourism was also discussed.
New Zealand opened its resident diplomatic Mission in Sri Lanka in August 2021, following a mutual agreement reached by the two countries to establish resident Missions, and Michael Appleton functions as the first resident High Commissioner of New Zealand to Sri Lanka.
30 September 2021