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India reiterates commitment to foster closer collaboration with Sri Lanka


By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): New High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Santosh Jha expressed his country’s commitment to strengthening the special friendship between the two countries, while fostering closer collaboration in trade, investment, energy, connectivity and other areas.

Mr. Jha presented credentials to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in a diplomatic ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo earlier in the day, marking the official commencement of his tenure here.

His most recent assignment prior to the posting in Sri Lanka was at the Embassy of India in Brussels, where he served from July 2020 until December 2023. Jha has the experience of serving as a member of negotiating teams for Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Sri Lanka and the European Union respectively.

As the new high commissioner to its neighbouring island nation, Mr. Jha is poised to further strengthen the bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka, fostering cooperation and collaboration in various domains, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a press release.

In the guest book of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mr. Jha conveyed that India and Sri Lanka share deep-rooted bonds in history, geography, culture and people-to-people ties.

He highlighted the growth of ties in political, economic, and security fields over the decades, emphasizing India’s role as Sri Lanka’s close neighbour, largest trade partner and a key development partner.

Mr. Jha aligned his goals with the Vision Statement agreed upon by the leaders of both nations, expressing confidence that their cooperation will lead to shared prosperity, progress and regional stability.

The new Indian envoy thanked President Wickremesinghe for the warm welcome and looked forward to constructive engagements in the future.

The partnership encourages investment from India’s private sector and joint ventures with Sri Lankan companies. Three areas – logistics, energy and tourism – are the focus of this partnership.

This includes improving regional logistics and the development of ports in Colombo, Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai, ferry services between Indian and Sri Lankan ports and greater air connectivity between both countries.

These are business investments that also enable people-to-people movement.

The most important projects include proposals to build an oil pipeline from India to Sri Lanka and to connect the two countries’ electricity grids.

India already has oil pipelines and power links with Bangladesh and Nepal – providing a template that can be used with Sri Lanka. While India is an energy importer it houses a world-class and world-scale oil refining and processing industry.

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