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India: The biggest friend of Sri Lanka

Addressing the Tata Tiscon Dealer Convention 2023 on 7 February 2023 in Colombo, H.E Dinesh Gunawardena, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka called on the Indian companies to invest further in Sri Lanka. Outlining the benefits of Indian investments in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka highlighted that 90% of components used by Lanka Ashok Leyland were indigenous. He also referred to India as the biggest friend of Sri Lanka in the time of crisis in his address. 2.     Speaking at the event, High Commissioner H.E Gopal Baglay said that both Government of India and Indian corporates are working to build relationships that are beneficial to the people within and beyond India, especially the neighbours, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Neighbourhood First Policy. He added that the driving force behind this spirit of engagement was community-centered business practices and philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (world is one family). 3.     Referring to India and Sri Lanka as ‘civilisational twins’, the High Commissioner noted that both Governments are promoting people to people as well as business to business ties. He added that presence of numerous Indian business entities for the convention was the biggest vote of confidence not only in the relationship between the two countries but also in Sri Lanka’s potential. 4.     Business and commercial linkages between the two countries are witnessing steady growth. India was the largest investor and also the biggest export destination for Sri Lanka in 2021. India continues to be the largest source of tourists as well. Indian companies in Sri Lanka actively support Sri Lanka’s economic recovery through increased economic activities, value addition of products, services, job creation for Sri Lankan nationals and direct assistance to the people of Sri Lanka through various CSR activities. *** Colombo 7 February 2023

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