Excerpts from article published in 'ECONOMYNEXT'
India’s Covid numbers have come down sharply and with vaccination in sight, India’s economic recovery will be “full-blown” by the next quarter with beneficial effects on Sri Lanka, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said.
Addressing a joint press conference with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo this afternoon Jaishankar said Covid “is not just a public health issue but equally, a crisis of the economy. The Indian economy has also shown strong signs of recovery in the last few months.”
Neighbourhood First Policy
The Minister said Covid has given the two countries an opportunity to collaborate even more closely. “Reflecting our Neighbourhood First policy, India has supported Sri Lanka’s efforts to tackle Covid through timely medical assistance. I should also place on record my appreciation to the Sri Lankan Government for its assistance and facilitation in the evacuation of Indian nationals who were stuck here.
We are now looking at post-Covid cooperation and I carry back with me Sri Lanka’s interest in accessing vaccines from India.
Strong Interest of Indian Business to Invest in Sri Lanka
He said there are “many proposals under discussion, including in infrastructure, energy, connectivity, etc. Their early implementation is obviously in mutual interest and would definitely accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. Let me stress that Indian business is strongly interested in investing in Sri Lanka. We have discussed some important opportunities including in special zones for pharmaceutical manufacturing as also in tourism. I will ensure an early follow-up.”
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