Minister meets Italian Foreign State Undersecretary | Daily News

Minister meets Italian Foreign State Undersecretary

Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana visited Italy from March 1 – 3 and held bilateral discussions at the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry, with Italian Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry State Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano.

During discussions, the minister thanked the Italian government for the cooperation and assistance rendered by the Italian side and reiterated that the two countries have maintained excellent bilateral relations over the years, adding that it was time to build and strengthen their relationship.

The Foreign Minister stated that Sri Lankan expatriate workers were required to make a pension contribution amounting to around nine percent of their salary and qualify for a pension after working for 20 years.

They collect this contribution together with the employers’ contribution only upon their reaching 68 years of age. He stressed that in such circumstances many of the workers do not get to enjoy this benefit as most of them work only for about four to five years in the country. He requested the Italian authorities to consider adjusting this scheme so that a person would receive his contribution immediately upon relinquishing his employment in Italy, irrespective of the number of years worked or having to wait until they have reached 68 years.

The minister also brought to the attention of the Italian authorities the difficulties faced by Sri Lankans to submit their visa applications through the outsourced processing agency to obtain visas to enter Italy as tourists or to visit relatives.

The Italian Undersecretary agreed to ease the difficulties encountered by Sri Lankan visa applicants.

He highlighted and appreciated the support extended by Italy as a member of the European Union towards the lifting of the ban on fisheries exports of Sri Lanka to the EU in 2016 and the restoration of the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka in May, 2017. 


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