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Business News/ News / World/  India-Sri Lanka to explore petroleum line, land bridge to boost economic ties

India-Sri Lanka to explore petroleum line, land bridge to boost economic ties

India and Sri Lanka have agreed to conduct feasibility studies on a petroleum pipeline and a land bridge connectivity project between the two countries. The decision was made during Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to India, where he engaged in discussions with PM Narendra Modi.

PM Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. (Photo: ANI)Premium
PM Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. (Photo: ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India and Sri Lanka have decided to carry out feasibility studies on establishing a petroleum pipeline and a land bridge connectivity project between the two countries.

PM Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday engaged in extensive discussions during the latter's two-day visit to Delhi.

In his remarks to the media talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Sri Lanka also has an important place in both India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy and 'SAGAR' vision. Today we shared our views on bilateral, regional and international issues. We believe that the security interests and development of India and Sri Lanka are intertwined."

PM Modi also informed on increasing the air connectivity between the two nations, stating that both countries have taken the decision to start passenger ferry services between Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Kankesanturai in Sri Lanka.

Last year, Sri Lanka faced a severe financial crisis, leading to a scarcity of foreign exchange reserves, which made it challenging for the country to finance essential imports, including fuel and medicine.

Also Read: Gautam Adani meets Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe to explore green hydrogen projects

Speaking on the India-Sri Lanka ties, PM Modi said, “Sri Lanka faced many challenges last year but like a close friend we stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Sri Lanka in the time of crisis."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi said that the agreement signed to launch UPI in Sri Lanka will increase Fintech connectivity.

As reported by ANI, Wickremesinghe said, “We agreed that the economic and technology cooperation agreement between India-Sri Lanka is critical to enhancing the bilateral trade and investment in new and priority areas."

Last year, when Sri Lanka faced an economic crisis, India provided substantial financial support, offering approximately USD 4 billion in assistance. This aid included lines of credit that enabled Sri Lanka to purchase essential commodities such as food and fuel. India's support played a crucial role in helping Sri Lanka overcome its financial difficulties.

Wickremesinghe further thanked PM Modi for extending support to the country in the time of crisis, adding, “PM Modi and I believe that the construction of a multi-project petroleum pipeline from the southern part of India to Sri Lanka will ensure an affordable and reliable supply of energy resources to Sri Lanka...I thank PM Modi and the Indian govt for the invaluable support you gave us during the time of crisis."

Also Read: Talks on trade, power, China on the cards as Sri Lanka president visits India

During the visit, the primary focus of the discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe was to strengthen economic and strategic cooperation between the two nations.

Notably, this visit is significant as it is the first time a senior Sri Lankan leader has visited India since Sri Lanka experienced a severe economic crisis last year.

Ahead of the high-level talks between the two top leaders, NSA Ajit Doval called on Wickremesinghe and is understood to have discussed security cooperation between the two countries.

On Thursday evening, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the visiting leader and discussed various bilateral issues.
The visit of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Delhi on Thursday further strengthens the significance of Sri Lanka as an important partner in India's "Neighbourhood First Policy" and "Vision SAGAR" (Security and Growth for All in the Region). This visit has reaffirmed the enduring friendship and close ties between India and Sri Lanka.

Upon his arrival, Wickremesinghe was warmly welcomed by V Muraleedharan, the Union Minister of State for External Affairs, reflecting the hospitality and mutual respect shared between the two nations.

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Mausam Jha
A journalist covering International Relations, and Business.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 21 Jul 2023, 02:03 PM IST
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