Sri Lanka recognised the Republic of Estonia on 10 October 1991. Diplomatic relations were established between the two nations on 31 January 1996.
The new Ambassador of Sri Lanka H.E. Oshadhi Jagath Kumara Alahapperuma presented his credentials to President Ilves on 23 November 2011. The ambassador resides in Stockholm.
Estonia is represented in Sri Lanka by Honorary Consul Dudley F.S. Thambinayagam.
The first high-level visit occurred in February 2013, when Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met with the deputy foreign minister, defence minister, and economic development minister. Estonian Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met during the UN General Assembly in New York on 25 September 2003.
Estonia and Sri Lanka signed an Intergovernmental Agreement for Co-operation in Culture, Education and Science (came into force 15.04.2004), which foresees interlibrary loaning, creating contacts between universities and other educational and scientific establishments, exchanging of TV and radio programmes, and co-operation between sports and youth organisations. In accordance with the agreement, Estonia and Sri Lanka invite representatives from the other country to participate in international cultural events, and together they have organised exchanges of musicians and artists. The agreement also extends to museums, archaeology, and the preservation of cultural inheritance.
Economic relations are modest. In 2012, the total trade turnover between Estonia and Sri Lanka was 5.4 million euros, which put Sri Lanka in 75th place among Estonia’s trade partners. Sri Lanka ranked 73rd among Estonia’s export partners and 60th among import partners in 2012.
Trade between Estonia and Sri Lanka 2005-2011 (in thousand EUR):
Source: Statistical Office of Estonia www.stat.ee
Main export articles in 2011:
- Paper and paper products – 95.5%
- Machinery and equipment – 2.1%
- Wood and wood products – 0.8%
Main import articles in 2011:
- Headgear and its components – 37.1%
- Plant products 31.5%
- Rubber and rubber products – 15%
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