Expanding trade using INR part of nation’s recovery strategy with India: Sri Lanka Envoy
5 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Lanka's High Commissioner stated that the nation is boosting its trade with India using Indian rupees as part of Colombo's economic recovery strategy.
Milinda Moragoda, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, stated on Saturday that the island nation is boosting its trade with India using Indian rupees as part of Colombo’s economic recovery strategy with New Delhi. The envoy emphasised that India intervened fast during the Sri Lanka crisis, providing the country with USD3.9 billion in assistance.
“We might not have got financial aid this quickly if India hadn’t helped. India also played a key part in getting support for Sri Lanka,” the High Commissioner said. Speaking on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s 75th anniversary of independence, the High Commissioner stated that the island nation is considering utilising the RuPay method for Indian tourists visiting Colombo.
The Sri Lankan envoy told ANI in an exclusive interview that the government is also looking forward to implementing the RuPay mechanism. “Expanding the trade through Indian Rupee is part of our recovery strategy with India. We’re also looking at the possibility of using the RuPay mechanism so it will be easy for Indian tourists coming to Sri Lanka,” he told ANI.
He stated that the island nation’s relationship with India dates back 1,000 years and that the first delegate was dispatched to India 80 years ago. Speaking on the topic of Sri Lankan and Indian fisherman, the High Commissioner stated that the two countries must engage in conversation, adding that there are legal, environmental, and ecological issues that must be addressed.
Periodically, Indian fishermen have been caught by Sri Lankan authorities for reportedly breaching the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan seas. He further stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended an invitation to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to visit India.
“PM Modi has extended a formal invitation to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to visit India. We hope that he will be able to come to India soon,” Source ANI. Concerning security, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda, stated that Colombo’s security is also New Delhi’s, and that both countries should look after one other.
“India’s security is our security and our security is India’s. We have to look after our neighbourhood. We have a large number of ships coming in from India. Irrespective of what the threat is, we need to protect each other,” he added. He also emphasised the significance of the Jaffna Cultural Centre’s opening, describing it as a “symbolic” act by India.
“I am happy, it is one of the beautiful buildings and it stands out, the High Commissioner said. The island country, which is in the grip of an economic crisis, had widespread protests in March last year, forcing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to leave and bringing Ranil Wickremesinghe to office.
Milinda Moragoda has often stated that India can play a big role in Sri Lanka’s economic resurgence through increasing investment, tourism, and trade between the two countries.