Colombo, June 23 (newsin.asia): A high-level Indian delegation of senior government of India officials led by Vinay Kwatra, the Foreign Secretary, on Thursday discussed with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the economic situation in Sri Lanka and how it is being tackled.
As part of the efforts to build up the economy and further strengthen the growing ties between Sri Lanka and India, they discussed promotion of Indo-Lankan investment partnership in various fields including infrastructure, connectivity and renewable energy.
The Indian delegation, which left for New Delhi the same day, consisted of Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor and Kartik Pande, Joint Secretary, Indian Ocean Region, Ministry of External Affairs.
In the meeting with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, the two sides had an in-depth discussion on the Sri Lankan economy and efforts undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka towards achieving economic recovery. In this context, both sides highlighted the importance of promoting India-Sri Lanka investment partnership including in the fields of infrastructure, connectivity, renewable energy and deepening economic linkages between the two countries.
During the call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Indian side thanked the President of Sri Lanka for his commitment to the development of India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations. Both sides had a productive exchange of views on the current economic situation in Sri Lanka as well as India’s ongoing support.
The Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met his Sri Lanka counterparty Aruni Wijayawardene separately and discussed undertaking a bilateral visit at an early date.
The talks between the two sides were held in a frank, cordial and constructive manner.
The Indian delegation underscored that the unprecedented recent economic, financial and humanitarian assistance of over US$ 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka was, guided by ‘Neighborhood First’ policy and Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
The Sri Lankan side appreciated the consistent support of the Government and people of India over the past few years in a variety of fields such as counter-terrorism, maritime security, disaster management, humanitarian assistance, development cooperation, commercial engagement and people-to-people ties.
It may be recalled that development assistance extended by India stands at over USD 5 billion with more than USD 600 million being in grants, which include the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity Project. India continues to be the largest source of tourism for Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan side also welcomed the support extended by India during the meetings at the IMF in March this year and on subsequent occasions in different forums including regional and plurilateral organizations. They further acknowledged the initiatives taken by the Indian leadership in encouraging other countries to support Sri Lanka in dealing with the post-COVID normalization of economic activity.