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Minister of Works, Municipalities, Urban Planning,  Agriculture  and Marin Resources, His Highness Eng. Essam Bin Abdulla Khalaf, discussing and broaching issues of significance, interest and vitality with Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Dr A. Saj U. Mendis, at the Ministry Head-Office  in Manama, Bahrain

The Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Bahrain Dr A Saj U. Mendis, met with Bahrain’s Minister of Works, Municipalities, Urban Planning, Agriculture and Marine Resources, Eng. Essam Bin Abdulla Khalaf, in order to broach and discuss significant and decisive developments in the sphere of his vast portfolio in order to secure more skilled employment opportunities to Sri Lankan nationals. Minister Abdulla Khalaf is one of the more senior Cabinet Ministers of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and his Ministry is, probably, the most seminal and critically vital Ministry in Bahrain for economic and infrastructural augmentation. His Ministry also makes a direct impingement and impact on socio-economic and commercial advancement of the country, thus facilitating to achieve the National Strategic Master Plan for Bahrain by 2030. The Ministry addresses all infrastructure of Bahrain including public road network, drainage systems, public buildings and agriculture, thus ensuring smooth and efficacious functioning of the Kingdom.

 The Minister stated that a number of Sri Lankan nationals are employed in his Ministry holding multitude of positions of influence and authority, importance and seniority. He further added that many Sri Lankan engineers, IT professionals, quantity surveyors, technical officers and accountants are employed in the Ministry and are much liked by other colleagues, both from Bahrain and from other countries. The Minister corroborated that the Sri Lankan skilled professionals are much admired because of their commitment, integrity and competency.

Both the Minister and the Ambassador agreed that for economic advancement and to attract foreign direct investments and institutional investments, it is imperative to have a highly conducive and competitive infrastructure in the country. The Minister stated that in the context of the highly comprehensive and complex National Strategic Master Plan of Bahrain 2030, a number of employment opportunities for qualified and skilled professionals are available in his Ministry. He specifically stated to Ambassador Mendis that his Ministry is looking for Project Managers, Senior Engineers and Charted Architects with sufficient number of years of experience and exposure. The Minister also added that a number of semi-skilled employment opportunities too are available in his Ministry, which consists of five different portfolios. Dr. Mendis stated that during the last three decades, the largest foreign exchange earner of the Sri Lanka has been foreign remittances. Today, over 70% of these foreign remittances is generated from the Middle Eastern region and the Government of Sri Lanka considers this region as critically important from an economic as well as socio-economic perspective. He also added that foreign remittances consists nearly 9% of the GDP and is comparable to the combined total remittances from garments, tourism and tea, thus reflecting decisiveness of this sector.

In this context, the Minister stated to the Ambassador that his Ministry wishes to take the initiative to recruit more qualified and skilled Sri Lankan nationals to work in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Ambassador Mendis suggested that he would coordinate and facilitate with the Ministry of Labor in Bahrain and with the Ministry of Foreign Employment in Sri Lanka in order to secure skilled and highly skilled employment opportunities to qualified Sri Lankan nationals. The Minister was much appreciative of the contribution extended by Sri Lankan nationals to the development and expansion of the Kingdom. The Minister added that Sri Lanka, today, is on a rapid economic trajectory with absolute peace, harmony and stability, which, unfortunately, cannot be witnessed in many parts of the world. He also added that tourism is a sector that Sri Lanka could focus and could compete and vie with any country given the touristic attributes of the country. Both the Minister and Ambassador underscored the significance of any given country to have an advanced and developed infrastructure, in all spheres, to be a rapidly developing economy leading to an advanced economy. The Minister accentuated the fact that an efficacious road network could lead to development of the entire region or area with economic and commercial activity and most importantly, the connectivity.

 

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Bahrain
04 July 2018