On an invitation from the French Agency for Development (AFD), an Official Delegation headed by M I M Rafeek, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs will visit the Reunion Island from 1st to 7th of April 2017, the French Embassy in Colombo said today.The delegation is comprised of key public officers, Rathnayake, Director General of Department of External Resources, Mudalige, Director General of the Department of National Planning and representatives from Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, National Water Supply and Drainage Board and Ceylon Electricity Board. Sri Lanka although 25 times larger than the Reunion Island, shares with its Indian Ocean sister-island similar opportunities and constraints, linked to its island character, geomorphology (central mountainous area), tropical climate and climatic zones (distinctive dry and wet zones). Martin Parent, AFD Country Director, commenting on the proposed visit said that ”AFD, a partner to Sri Lanka in key sectors such as drinking water and sanitation, energy, urban development and irrigation, organizes this trip for a delegation of officials to have peer to peer discussions on the solutions developed by Reunion Island which faces similar opportunities and constraints: how to increase the share of renewable energies in an isolated power grid, how to invest sustainably in collective waste water treatment schemes, how to plan sustainable urban development in coastal tourist areas”. This visit will be an opportunity to be in contact with the highest Authorities of the Reunion Island, with a view to fostering cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Reunion Island. Discussions are also planned with the business community of Reunion Island in order to present them key infrastructure development projects to be implemented in Sri Lanka under Private and Public Partnership (PPP) basis. (Colombo Gazette)
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