Avoidance of Double Taxation : Romania-Sri Lanka pact in the offing



by Zacki Jabbar

Romania and Sri Lanka are working towards finalising a Memorandum of Understanding on Avoidance of Double Taxation and a programme of cooperation in various fields ranging from tourism to science and media.

The Romanian ambassador to Sri Lanka Dr. Victor Chiujdea addressing a ceremony to mark his country's National Day in Colombo recently said that they were in the process of updating the legal framework of bilateral relations.

Discussions, he revealed, were continuing for the early completion of a Memorandum of Understanding on Avoidance of Double Taxation , agreements on Consular and Tourism Cooperation and collaboration in the fields of education, science, culture,media, youth and sports."We, have also provided scholarships for Sri Lankan students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, especially in the fields of engineering and medicine. Romania is a stable and consolidated democratic country with strong political, economic and social structures,in addition to being a full member of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.Just as our people demonstrated by democratically electing Klaus Iohannis as their President, Sri Lankans have also proved their commitment to democratic change."

"It was pleasing to witness the ongoing development after 30 years of a civil war .Under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lankans would be able to realize their aspiration for peace, stability and prosperity, Chiujdea predicted.

He recalled that Romania-Sri Lanka friendship dated back to September 15, 1957 when diplomatic relations were established.Since then both sides had made a concerted effort to improve bilateral ties in all fields including political, parliamentary, trade and economic cooperation, culture, education and employment.Nevertheless, there was still unexplored potential in the railways sector, infrastructure development, energy, wine, tea, etc, the ambassador said adding that economic diplomacy was one of the main objectives of his embassy in Colombo and it was encouraging to see an increased interest in the Sri Lankan market by the Romanian business community, with tourist arrivals from his county also having increased considerably in recent years.

Chiujdea commended the head of the Honorary Consulate of Romania in Kandy, Geoffrey Aloysius for assisting in the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne who was the Chief Guest said that the doors were open for Romanian businesses and investors to avail of the ample economic opportunities in Sri Lanka.

Two way trade had increased in recent years and there was potential to boost it further.Total trade improved from US$ 18.89 million in 2013 to US$ 22.42 million as at the end of last year.Tourist arrivals from Romania also grew from 1687 in 2013 to 2332 in 2014, which marked a 38 percent increase.There was much potential for improvement, he emphasised.

The warm and cordial relations between the two countries had expanded and flourished to encompass many diverse spheres. The multi faceted and close cooperation, Senaratne said was based on a foundation of shared values and mutual respect, which had been witnessed at multi lateral fora as well.

The minister observed that the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Consultations which was signed in 2013, had put in place a system of structured interaction which could be developed and the positive momentum taken to a higher level as Romania – Sri Lanka collaboration encompassed diverse fields.

People to people contacts, student and staff exchanges and joint research programmes would enrich both countries and strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation, he noted ." I wish to place on record our sincere appreciation of ambassador Victor Chiujdea's hard work and contribution towards strengthening ties between Sri Lanka and Romania."

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