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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre) with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (right) at the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo today. Bernama Photo

COLOMBO: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today was welcomed by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, before both proceeded to a four-eyed meeting for about 30 minutes.

The two premieres then joined a bilateral meeting with delegations from both countries for almost an hour, before witnessing the signing of three memoranda of understanding.

The first MoU between the two governments involved cooperation in the training of diplomats.

The Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MiGHT) signed an MoU with Sri Lanka's Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation for cooperation in "Foresight and Science2Action".

The third MoU involved Malaysian Bioeconomy Develoment Cooperation Sdn Bhd on a collaboration in science, technology and innovation activities as well biotechnology sector.

Najib, along with delegates from both sides, will later attend an official luncheon hosted by Sirisena at his residence.

He will then hold a one-hour roundtable meeting with captains of industry comprising Malaysian, Sri Lankan and international firms mostly in the services sector.

They include those from telecommunication, information and communication technology, manufacturing, tourism, financial services and agriculture.

As of 2016, Sri Lanka was Malaysia’s 41st largest trading partner, 33rd largest export destination and 67th largest import source.

For the same period, Malaysia was Sri Lanka’s 10th largest trading partner, 37th largest export destination and sixth largest import source.

Malaysia’s total exports to Sri Lanka amounted to US$ 579.9 million last year (Jan-Oct 2017: US$483.4 million).

Its major exports included petroleum products, palm oil and palm based products, chemical and chemical products, electrical and electronic products and sawn timber and moulding.

Total imports from Sri Lanka stood at US$59.2 million last year (Jan-Oct 2017: US$60.2 million).

Malaysia's major imports included textiles, apparels and footwear, processed food, natural rubber, petroleum products and rubber products.

Malaysia has a total investment of US$3.1 billion in Sri Lanka with 47 projects spanning 8,335 jobs.

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