(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Wickremesinghe met with the leadership of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) and Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FEF) during his working visit to Berlin from 27-30 September 2023.
President Wickremesinghe met the Friedrich Naumann Foundation representatives on 29 September 2023 and appreciated the work carried out by FNF in Sri Lanka. He further invited the foundation to strengthen their areas of work in the development of digital and green economy and assistance on sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka. Chairman of the FNF Professor Karl-Heinz Paque agreed with President Wickremesinghe on the necessity to undertake reforms to build a highly competitive social market economy in Sri Lanka. Future collaboration with FNF under the framework of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) where Germany is a Dialogue Partner was also discussed. The German based non-profit foundation is affiliated with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) of Germany and operates in over 70 countries worldwide.
President Wickremesinghe met with the representatives of Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FEF) on 28 September 2023 and discussed the possibility of resuming the work of the foundation in Sri Lanka. FEF is affiliated with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany. The President also briefed the FEF representatives on the current economic and governance reforms to stabilize Sri Lanka’s economy. He acknowledged past contributions made by FEF to Sri Lanka, including the establishment of the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) and the Sri Lanka Television Training Institute (SLTTI).
The FNF was represented by Chairman of the FNF Professor Karl-Heinz Paque and Head of the International Department of FNF Dr. Rene Klaff, while the FEF was represented by Chairman of the Foundation Martin Schluz, Head of Department Asia and Pacific Mirco Günther and two others. Both FNF and FEF are headquartered in Germany and have contributed towards the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s engagements with the two foundations span over several decades.
Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany Varuni Muthukumarana, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Stabilization, Recovery, and Growth Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Advisor to the Finance Minister/Economist Deshal De Mel; Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chatura Perera were also present at the meetings.