AsiaBusinessIndiaSouthern AsiaSri Lanka

Modi Assures Sri Lanka‘s Trading Woes with India Will Be Sorted Out

By TN Ashok Diplomatic Editor

Colombo, March 13: Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured Sri Lanka that India had taken into account Sri Lanka’s concerns about the rising trade imbalance with India and that they would be addressed soon.

The agreement today on cooperation between our customs authorities is a step in that direction. It will simplify trade and reduce non-tariff barriers on both sides, Modi said in a media statement on his arrival in Sri Lanka on the last leg of his three nation tour of Indian Ocean countries which includes Seychelles and Maurutius.

“We are not just looking at addressing problems. We are also focusing on new opportunities”, Modi said adding today, and Lanka IOC and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had agreed to jointly develop the Upper Tank Farm of the China Bay Installation in Trincomalee on mutually agreed terms.

A Joint Task Force will be constituted soon to work out the modalities. India stands ready to help Trincomalee become a regional petroleum hub, he said adding this is how it should be between neighbours. “We should meet regularly. It helps us understand each other better; find solutions to mutual concerns; and, move our relationship forward.”

“ That is what we achieved in my meetings with President Sirisena today”, Modi said pointing out that Economic ties are a key pillar of Indo Sri Lanka relationship. The progress we have made reflects our shared commitment to stronger economic cooperation.

“I also look forward to early commencement of work on the ground in the Sampur Coal Power Project. This landmark project would meet Sri Lanka’s energy needs”, Modi said.

The ocean economy is a new frontier that holds enormous promise for both of us. It is a priority for our two countries. Our decision to set up a Joint Task Force on Ocean Economy is a significant step, especially because of our proximity.

People are at the heart of our relations. We have taken a number of decisions to encourage people to people contacts, improve connectivity, and increase tourism, Modi said.

We will extend the facility of “Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorization” Scheme to Sri Lankan citizens from the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on 14 April 2015.

Air India will soon start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo.  We will cooperate in developing a Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist Circuit in India, Modi said.

Related posts