India sees long-term friendship with Sri Lanka | Daily News

India sees long-term friendship with Sri Lanka

Vinod K Jacob
Vinod K Jacob

Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Vinod K. Jacob said that the Indian government sees long term growth in the relationship with Sri Lanka. Jacob noted the relationship was becoming more equal over time. Jacob reaffirmed India’s commitment to its long term obligations.

The Indo-Lankan trade gap has narrowed over the course of 2020. In 2020 imports from India amounted to US $3 billion while exports amounted to US $644.2 million. This represents a trade gap of US$ 2.4 billion which is a 27% decline over the trade gap of US $3.3 billion in 2019.

Jacob was speaking at the International Chamber of Commerce awards for the most admired companies on February 10 at the BMICH.

The Indian government aimed to make India self-reliant on many products over the future.

Jacob said that in his view Indian manufacturers view Sri Lanka as an opportunity to share know-how and increase technology transfers.

Jacob cited the Jaffna-Chennai air linkages as being very successful. There are also plans to bring about ferry services between the two countries. Indian officials have earlier noted that they are willing to look at the venture even if it is loss-making. The plans on the service are still being actively explored.

The Indian government has proposed a travel bubble between Sri Lanka and India to help the tourist markets in both countries. India accounts for the largest inbound tour market in the country. The Sri Lankan government had indicated to the Indian government that they were in approval of the proposal. Jacob said, “We hope to take this forward.”

The Indian government has proposed US $100 million in assistance for the development of solar energy in the country. The Reserve Bank of India had earlier provided a US $400 million swap agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Jacob noted that Indian investors see Sri Lanka as a partner for long term investment and growth.

India has already provided Sri Lanka with 500,000 Covishield vaccines and the Lankan government had indicated that they wished to obtain more vaccines. Jacob cited the importance of independence in the regulation of medicine and commended the swift approval of the Covishield vaccine by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority.