Colombo, January 15 (newsin.asia): The Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar held a virtual meeting with Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa on Saturday in which an Indian credit facility of US$ 1 billion for importing essential items and US$ 500 million for importing fuel from India were discussed.
Dr. Jaishankar conveyed that “India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways for overcoming the economic and other challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.”
As close friends and maritime neighbors, both India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic interlinkages, Jaishankar addd..
Both Ministers positively noted that extension of US$ 400 million to Sri Lanka under the SAARC currency swap arrangement and deferral of A.C.U. settlement of USD 515.2 million by two months, which would assist Sri Lanka. They reviewed the progress in extending Indian credit facility of USD 1 billion for importing food, essential items and medicine and USD 500 mn for importing fuel from India.
Basil Rajapaksa recalled India’s longstanding cooperation with Sri Lanka and deeply appreciated the gestures of support. He welcomed Indian investments in Sri Lanka in a number of important spheres including ports, infrastructure, energy, renewable energy, power and manufacturing and assured that conducive environment will be provided to encourage such investments. In this context, both Ministers noted that the recent steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka for jointly modernizing Trincomalee Oil Tank Farms will boost confidence of investors, apart from enhancing Sri Lanka’s energy security.
The Indian Foreign Minister brought up the issue of Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. He urged the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure early release of the detained fishermen on humanitarian considerations.
The two Ministers agreed to remain in close touch for guiding mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation towards long-term economic partnership for shared progress and prosperity.