Friday, 08 July 2016

I am honored to send a message at the proceedings of the 4th Senior Official Meeting and the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Colombo Process which will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 24th and 25th August 2016.

As the chair-in-office, it was a great pleasure for us to have the opportunity of hosting you all at this important gathering.

Asia, with 60 percent of the world’s people and 30 percent of the world’s international migrants, is a dynamic region marked by ever more linkages between the many countries of the continent via trade, investment and labor mobility. These linkages are likely to expand in the coming decades, raising new challenges and opportunities for co-operation to maximize the benefits from economic integration, mainly from sharing and exchange of human resources.

Therefore as an important regional consultation Colombo Process gives us a great opportunity to come together and share our respective experiences and reinforce our cooperation on all fronts, which will help to maximize the benefits from labour migration.

Since assuming chair-in office of the Colombo Process in 2013 ,Sri Lanka spearheaded a strategic vision roadmap that sought to strengthen the co-operation among member countries and engagement with countries of destination under the theme of “International Labour Migration for Prosperity : Adding value by working together “. Accordingly five thematic areas has been identified and at the last meeting of the SOM decided to activate technical working groups with a participation of member countries. Under our chairmanship, we have been able to activated five thematic technical working group meeting and outcomes will be submitted to the upcoming ministerial meeting.

I take this opportunity to stress the importance of the progress made by the Colombo Process since the convening of the first Ministerial Consultation in Colombo in 2003; while succeeding our consultation in fostering constructive dialogue among our member countries, it has also contributed to enhancing mutual trust and identifying avenues of collaboration among us to enhance its outcomes.

On behalf of the chair-in-office, I would like to congratulate all of you on making the 5th Meeting of the Colombo Process Regional Consultative Ministerial Meeting and the Senior Officials’ meeting a success.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of CP member countries for their active roles and I extend my appreciation to the IOM for their continued support in developing the purposeful dialogues and programs of the Colombo Process.

G.S Withanage
Ministry of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka