President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for Japan today (25th May) to participate in the G–7 Summit, which is to be held on the 26th and 27th in Ise-Shima in Japan.

President Sirisena, the first Sri Lankan leader to the summit was officially invited by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinz Abe as an Outreach Partner.

This year’s summit will be held under the objective to share the key values of democracy, rule of law and human rights by pointing out the best way towards the peace and prosperity.

The attention will also be focused on the global economy and trade, foreign policy, climate change and energy, development, quality infrastructure development, health and women.

Earlier known G8 summit now has become the G7 summit since the membership of Russia was suspended in 2014 over the situation in Ukraine.

Heads of the government of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Canada along with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission are the members, who are participating the Summit.

The world leaders hold discussions on global challenges, and make decisions and the outcomes of the meeting are summarized in the form of a declaration.

The summit was founded in the 1970s, by industrialized countries as they encountered various challenges such as the Nixon Shock (the devaluation of the US dollar) and the First Oil Crisis, which led to recognition that there was need for a forum where leaders discussed policy coordination on global economic issues, such as the macro economy, currencies, trade and energy.

President Sirisena will make use of this rare opportunity which has been given to a leader of a non-member country to participate in the G7 Summit to promote the country’s image and attract economic partnerships and investment from the world.

Experts point out that this official invitation for President Sirisena symbolizes the positive attitude of the international community towards Sri Lanka’s way forward as a sustainable democracy and a potential economic hub in Asia.