ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuirya has invited Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to enter the island’s energy sector, a statement said as efforts are being made to liberalize the industry.
State Minister Balasuriya met Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)) 6th Summit in Kazakhstan place.
“As Azerbaijan is an oil-producing nation, State Minister Balasuriya …noted that Cabinet approval has recently granted to open fuel Imports and retail sales market to companies from oil-producing nations,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
“The two sides agreed to continue discussions on further cooperation and to establish a bilateral consultations mechanism in order to expand existing ties.”
Minister also met the Foreign Affairs Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov of Kazakhstan and requested him to explore avenues for cooperation in the power and energy sectors in Sri Lanka.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tursunov had said that Kazakhstan was ready to support Sri Lanka and suggested that a team visit Kazakhstan to explore options available in the energy sector.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tursunov also stated that as a precursor, virtual bilateral consultations on economic, cultural and political relations could be held and invited State Minister Balasuriya to visit Kazakhstan in 2023.
In late June, Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a proposal to allow companies in oil producing countries to distribute fuel.
At the moment 90 percent of fuel distribution is done by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and about 10 percent by Lanka IOC.
Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said on June 25 that players may be given 200 to 300 filling stations out of the 1,190 fuel stations operated by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.