Home » India and Sri Lanka review the status of bilateral economic cooperation

India and Sri Lanka review the status of bilateral economic cooperation

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High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Milinda Moragoda met with Indian Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the latter’s office in North Block, New Delhi to review the status of bilateral economic cooperation.

This was the latest of a series of meetings High Commissioner Moragoda has had with Minister Sitharaman since November last year on Indian economic cooperation and assistance to Sri Lanka in the context of the present crisis.

At the outset, High Commissioner Moragoda briefed Minister Sitharaman on Sri Lanka’s ongoing discussions with the International Monetary Fund and the present status of the country’s debt restructuring process.

He also briefed her on the drastic impact the present economic contraction is having on the poor and vulnerable segments of the population of Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner once again thanked Minister Sitharaman for the unprecedented emergency assistance that India has extended to Sri Lanka and her personal interventions with bilateral and multilateral partners throughout this challenging and difficult period.

High Commissioner Moragoda and Minister Sitharaman also reviewed the status of bilateral economic cooperation and the High Commissioner emphasized that India could play a critical role in Sri Lanka’s economic revival through multi-faceted economic integration between the two countries by enhancing investments, tourism and trade.

Since the onset of Sri Lanka’s ongoing crisis, India has acted with alacrity to provide succor to the island nation.

With Colombo facing an acute shortages of funds, India extended $4 billion to keep the country’s accounts afloat. India has also vocally supported Colombo’s demands for an International Monetary Fund bailout package and restructuring of its debt.

In one instance, the Indian naval ship Gharial was deployed to deliver supplies of medicines, highlighting the expeditious manner in which India sought to extend humanitarian help to Sri Lanka.

The unprecedented humanitarian and financial aid provided by India on such short notice showcases the country’s unique position in terms of its proximity to Sri Lanka and its capacity as well as capability to extend aid at a strategic level.

Such assistance provided by India may well garner goodwill in Sri Lanka, but India’s long-term interests will be better served by weaving the geostrategic characteristics of the region into its Sri Lanka policy.

The maritime geography of the island nation provides immense potential in solidifying maritime linkages through capacity and capability building in the arena of maritime connectivity and security.

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